Increasing Social Engagement for Introverted Seniors

Senior man sitting alone at the dinner table

Learn how to increase social engagement for introverted seniors.

Brace yourself! The holidays are here. Many people may love the frantic pace of parties and celebrations, but there are others who balk at the thought of stepping out of their comfort zone and into more intensive social obligations. It could be due to one of two fundamental distinctions: extroversion vs. introversion. And it’s worthwhile to know which category the older adults in your life lean towards more, so you can help them thrive with the most appropriate type of socialization for their personality.

What’s the Difference Between Introverts and Extroverts?

In all reality, no one is exclusively one or the other. Think of a continuum with introversion on one end and extroversion on the other. We are all sitting at some point along that continuum. The main traits of introversion include a more reserved, quiet, and internally-focused viewpoint, while extroversion involves a more outward focus: sociable, talkative, and action-oriented.

It’s intriguing to know that psychologists believe we grow more introverted as we age, in a condition referred to as “intrinsic maturation.” So just because a senior you love once fully enjoyed and drew energy from highly social settings, you may see a change towards beginning to feel more self-contained and satisfied with small, intimate social scenes or even just spending more time alone.

Knowing that social engagement for introverted seniors is crucial to a senior’s health and wellness, how can you help a more introverted individual enjoy time together with family and friends, not only during the holidays, but all year long? These guidelines can help.

  • Assign a buddy. Having one trusted, close friend, family member, or caregiver to stay close to the senior adds an amount of familiarity and comfort to what may seem like an intimidating setting.
  • Agree on a specific exit time. Talk with the senior about how much time might feel comfortable for socializing. If they would like to stay for just an hour, for example, be sure to respect that decision and be prepared to leave when they are.
  • Stay near the perimeter. Instead of motivating the older adult to be front and center in a social environment, choose a quieter place at the edge of the group, where they can talk with one or two people at a time.

How Can Home Care Help Increase Social Engagement for Introverted Seniors?

A caregiver from Responsive Home Care offers the ideal opportunity for the one-on-one social engagement for introverted seniors. Just a few of the numerous ways we can help include:

  • Going to holiday gatherings with the senior to ensure all of their needs are met in the most comfortable setting
  • Providing accompanied transportation to a small-group class or to learn a new hobby they’ve always wanted to try
  • Providing companionship at home for discussions and activities that are fun for the senior
  • And much more

Contact Responsive Home Care, offering the most trusted home health care service in Fort Lauderdale, FL and the surrounding areas, online or at (954) 486-6440. You can receive more recommendations to help a senior you love enjoy the greatest possible quality of life, and to learn how a professional caregiver can help.

Try These Creative Ways to Get More Fruits and Veggies Into a Senior’s Diet

Learn how to add fruits and veggies into a senior’s diet.

It’s no surprise that many seniors, just like anyone else, prefer carbs to carrots, making it challenging to guarantee that their nutritional needs are being met. The CDC shares that just one in ten seniors are meeting the recommendation of at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit every day. Many researchers have reported that seniors who do follow these guidelines reduce their risk for diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic health issues, and subsequently live longer lives.

Maybe it’s time to think outside of the box to promote healthier eating habits in a senior’s diet. For example:

Make it crunchy. There are so many nutritious alternatives to greasy potato chips for a crispy snack or as a side to enjoy with a sandwich. Pick up a few for the older adult in order to see which ones they prefer: kale, sweet potato, beet, radish, green bean, eggplant, and much more. Or try freeze-dried fruit, another crunchy and nutritious alternative.

Make it smooth. If you’re looking to add a few superfoods to a senior’s diet, smoothies and sauces are great ways to do so. You can create a refreshing, delicious drink by blending a little spinach, yogurt, and fresh fruit. Or experiment with pureeing different vegetables to mix in with marinara sauce: zucchini, carrots, kale, bell peppers, etc.

Opt for convenience. Slicing, peeling, chopping, cooking – the numerous steps needed to prepare some vegetables and fruit make it easier to just grab a prepackaged snack. Try to find healthy alternatives that are just as easy to grab and enjoy, like ready-to-eat salads, baby carrots, or other cleaned and sliced veggies, individual cups of fruit, bananas, etc.

Freeze it up. Make your own simple, healthy frozen snacks by blending fruit with a small amount of juice or water, pouring into popsicle molds, and freezing until solid. These also make a wonderful multi-generational activity! Invite the family members over, let everyone choose their favorite flavor to make, and then spend some quality time together as you wait for them to chill before enjoying your personal creations.

Join a CSA. If you’ve never considered a CSA, now is an ideal time to explore this option. A CSA (community supported agriculture) is a subscription service for fresh produce from local farmers. Discover more and find a CSA near you here.

Responsive Home Care’s caregivers are skilled in preparing delicious, healthy meals based on each person’s individual preferences. We are available to pick up all of the ingredients too! Just give us a call at (954) 486-6440, or contact us online for assistance with enhancing a senior’s diet with the help of our elderly home care in Hollywood, FL and the nearby areas.

 

 

How to Build New Senior Friendships

Senior friendships can make the days a little brighter.

If you’ve ever observed young children at the park, you know how quickly friendships are formed. A small group might be playing hide-and-seek, and a newcomer dashes over with a breathless, “Can I play?” In most cases, the response is a resounding, “Sure!” and thus – instant friends. Read more

Does Having a Sense of Purpose Help Us Live Longer?

What motivates you to get up out of bed every morning? The answer is different for every single one of us, of course, but there is one commonality: it could allow you to live longer. Scientific studies are answering the question, “Does having a sense of purpose help us to live longer?” with a resounding “Yes!” as evidenced in Japan, the country with the highest life expectancy on earth.

Interestingly, there’s no word for our definition of “retirement” in the Japanese language. Instead, there is a focus on maintaining purpose and meaning beyond a person’s working years and defining themselves according to their current pastimes and passions.

So just how can we help older adults – and ourselves – stay involved with what ignites interest and makes a difference in the world around us? Below are a few inspiring ideas to get you started:

Cultivate a sense of compassion for others. There’s no shortage of suffering in this world, and there is something that all of us can do in some way to help lessen the struggles of somebody else. Have a conversation with the older adults in your life about who or what touches their hearts the most – homelessness, mental health, single parents, stray animals, veterans, etc. Direct that compassion into action by brainstorming ways to make a direct impact.

Prioritize family. With so many families living far away from each other, and even further separated recently as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, make a plan to close the gaps and bring family members closer together. Plan a backyard holiday gathering or family reunion. Commit to a video chat or phone call with a different member of the family weekly to reconnect and get caught up on their lives. Work on documenting your life story, and that of past generations, to share with children and grandchildren.

Redefine retirement. For a senior loved one who is already retired from one career, consider another. Is there an unrealized dream that could be explored, such as earning a degree in a different field of interest? Look into volunteer or part-time job opportunities that offer the opportunity to learn something new while serving others.

Take time to play. Meaning and purpose are found in lighthearted endeavors too! Sports, hobbies, art, music, travel, exploring nature, reading, and many other engaging and fun activities provide possibilities for self-expression and a more enjoyable life. Betye Saar, a 93-year-old artist, explains, “… the creative part of me is forever young.”

Responsive Home Care’s caregiving team is full of innovative ideas to help older adults continue to take pleasure in a life of purpose and meaning. Contact us any time online or call us at 954-486-6440 for additional tips and to find out more about our personalized senior home care in Pembroke Pines and the neighboring communities.

Senior Home Care Tip from the Pros: Create and Follow a Daily Schedule

senior home careLife, especially but not just during the pandemic, can be filled with uncertainty. For seniors who are feeling less in command of particular facets of life, such as losing physical or cognitive functioning, concentrating on what can be controlled is empowering.

A great place to start is by establishing a regular routine, personalized to a senior’s particular interests and needs. Keep in mind that the senior’s routine is certainly not meant to be a strict regimen to be adhered to, but merely the basis for structure and predictability. With the older adult’s direction and input, decide on a preferred framework for every day. A sample daily routine may look like this:

  • Wake up at 7:30 a.m.
  • Take care of personal hygiene needs and get dressed
  • Enjoy breakfast on the back patio while listening to favorite music
  • Engage in light exercise and stretching
  • Work on a puzzle or art project
  • Pack a picnic lunch to take to the nearby park
  • Run an errand
  • Spend some quiet time reading or taking a short nap
  • Make dinner together and tidy up afterwards
  • Take a bath
  • Watch a movie
  • Go to sleep at 10 p.m.

Daily routines are helpful for older adults and their caregivers alike, in many different ways:

  • Routines lower stress and anxiety. Routines are calming and comforting, eliminating the need to wonder and worry about what’s going to occur next, who will be there to assist, and how to ensure that everything is going to be taken care of.
  • Routines create better sleep. Research has shown that sticking with a daily routine aids in sleep quality in addition to the ability to fall asleep and remain asleep.
  • Routines allow for high quality time with friends and family. Older adults and those who care for them can establish routines that incorporate enjoyable time together. Include favorite pastimes, weekly lunch dates at a favorite restaurant, even an end-of-the-day hug.

Our care team is skilled at creating customized care plans and schedules in order to make each day the very best it can be for older adults and those who love them through a full range of in-home support services, including:

  • Morning wake-up assistance, including personal hygiene and cooking a nourishing breakfast
  • Engaging companionship throughout the day and evening – whenever needed
  • Light housekeeping and laundry
  • Shopping and other errands
  • Medication reminders
  • Accompaniment to outings, visits with friends and family, medical appointments, etc.
  • And many others, in accordance with each senior’s specific needs

Call us any time at (954) 486-6440 for more information and to request a free in-home consultation.

Tap Into the Many Benefits of Gardening for the Elderly

Benefits of Gardening for the Elderly

Discover the benefits of gardening for the elderly.

The cool dampness of rich soil. The warmth of the sunshine. The joyful trills of songbirds. Gardening has the ability to engage all of our senses, and provides a wealth of benefits to seniors. Regardless of ability level or any space restrictions, there’s always a way to help seniors experience the joys of planting indoors or outdoors, watching new growth emerge, and harvesting.

Spark interest (or renew interest) in the wonderful world of gardening for a senior you love, and discover these incredible benefits of gardening for the elderly:

  • A brighter outlook on life. Research has shown that compared to other hobbies, gardening is the winner in fighting stress levels and improving mood. Participants in the study worked on a stress-inducing task, and were then instructed to either spend 30 minutes gardening outside, or 30 minutes reading inside. Blood tests clearly revealed a reduced level of cortisol – a stress hormone – in the gardening group.
  • Enhanced strength, flexibility, and stamina. Gardening can actually provide a cardio workout in some cases, but even sitting in place while performing gardening tasks can help build and strengthen muscles. The simple acts of bending, twisting, reaching, and pulling also increase flexibility and stamina.
  • Less dementia risk. A fascinating and extensive study of nearly 3,000 participants has revealed that dementia risk is reduced by as much as 36% in adults over age 60 who participated in gardening and similar physical activities.
  • The chance to make friends. Community gardens bring neighbors together for a common purpose, offering opportunities to build friendships. The American Community Gardening Association offers its members the ability to search for a community garden in their area – or, to start a new one.

An indoor garden is great for those who can’t get outside or when the weather isn’t cooperating. Decorate small clay pots with markers or paint, and fill with potting soil and a variety of herb seeds. Or create a terrarium with a glass bowl, small stones/shells/etc., potting soil and a few small succulents.

Need some additional indoor gardening activity ideas? Find 10 simple ideas here, and call on Responsive Home Care, the top-rated provider of home care in Pembroke Pines and nearby areas, for a care companion to help! Our caregivers are always available to help seniors live life to the fullest through engaging activities such as gardening, as well as:

  • Conversations and reminiscing
  • Mind-stimulating games and puzzles
  • Enjoyable outings
  • Favorite (or new) hobbies: knitting, crocheting, learning a language or musical instrument – the sky is the limit!

Call us at 954-486-6440 any time for a free in-home consultation to get started on a more enriching life for a senior you love through our full range of customized in-home care services.

New and Innovative Solutions to Combat Senior Loneliness

Granddaughter Relaxing With Grandmother In GardenWe know that socialization is vitally important for our overall emotional (and even physical) wellbeing – but we also know that senior loneliness is an epidemic in America. With the hectic pace of life, it’s difficult for families and friends to provide the full measure of social interaction needed to keep isolation at bay for older adults, who are often homebound or unable to get out as much as they’d like.

But the mother of invention truly is necessity, and the need for creative socialization solutions has sparked some interesting innovations to combat senior loneliness:

The Chat Bench

Thanks to the police department in the southwest England town of Burnham-On-Sea, several benches now boast signage that boldly proclaims, “The Happy to Chat Bench: Sit Here if You Don’t Mind Someone Stopping to Say Hello.” And, stop they do! It’s a lovely way for those who are feeling lonely to meet others and make new friends.

Grandkids on Demand

Carefully screened college students are available through the Papa Pals app to spend time with an older person who is lonely or in need of a little assistance. Spending anywhere from 3 to as much as 10 hours visiting together, it’s a win-win: a little spending money for the students, and the friendly companionship seniors so desperately need.

Robotics

Advances in robotics allow for an amazingly lifelike companion. One such example is ElliQ, described as “a proactive social robot for older adults…essentially a tablet and voice-equipped speaker that can gesture like it’s engaging in a real conversation, bobbing its head like it understands, or leaning in closer to ‘hear’ you.”

As incredible as these ideas are to help combat senior loneliness, we have one that we believe to be even better: engaging the services of Responsive Home Care for a professional, friendly companion, available for as much or as little time as desired to engage in conversations, reminiscing, exercise programs, enjoyable pastimes and outings, and so much more to overcome senior loneliness. And companionship is merely one component in our wide array of in-home care services. Contact us at 954-486-6440 to learn more about our Sunrise in home care services!

Secrets to Happiness Despite Pain or Chronic Illness

Seniors experiencing pain or chronic illness can still experience joy. Learn how to help here.

Have you ever gotten out of bed and said, “It’s likely to be one of those days!” Maybe your alarm didn’t go off, the hot water heater decided to stop working, and the dog chewed up one of your most loved shoes overnight. Then consider if every day were “one of those days!” For someone coping with a chronic disease (and that’s the majority of the older adult population), day-to-day struggles and challenges can be a given.

Responsive Home Care presents a few steps that seniors can take to discover and maintain a life of joy, even throughout the face of chronic illness. For example:

  • Follow passions. Seeking purpose and meaning in each day is vital – and attainable. Many seniors find gratification in aiding and supporting other people. Others thrive on being lifelong learners. For some it can mean documenting earlier times for the next generation. Brainstorm ideas until you arrive at one that sparks passion, and then make it a real possibility.
  • Practice positivity. One smart way to accomplish an even more positive take on life is by journaling. Encourage your elder loved ones to start every day by developing a summary of everything they’re thankful for that morning, including the relatively ordinary: the smell of fresh coffee brewing, a cat curled up in a sunbeam, an upcoming lunch date with a relative. At the conclusion of every week, sit together and read back through the prior entries for a quick and effective pick-me-up.
  • Try to avoid negativity. Including a measure of positivity as mentioned above can naturally result in minimized negativity, but there are additional steps which can be followed as well. For instance, provide for breaks from activities that induce frustration, allowing for needed time to de-stress. Place the emphasis on undertaking tasks which can be executed successfully, and find an alternate solution for those that are much too challenging, such as assigning those tasks to another relative or friend, or employing the services of a specialist.
  • Get out of the house. Preserving as active a lifestyle as possible outside the home is usually so energizing for older adults. Help your elder loved ones go out for hair appointments, shopping adventures, visits with relatives, along with other fun outings, as much as they are able. Even simply stepping outdoors and relaxing on the front porch when weather allows can substantially enhance someone’s spirits and outlook.

At Responsive Home Care, it is our aim to help older adults attain the highest possible quality of life without exception. Our professionally trained and experienced caregivers provide pleasant companionship, interesting activities, transportation, and more. Contact us at 954-486-6440 and discover how we can make a difference by providing a home health aide in Fort Lauderdale, FL or the surrounding areas! See our full service area here.

It’s Time to Put Aging in a Positive Light

Senior couple having fun riding motor scooter.

Put a positive spin on aging with these tips from the experts in senior care, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

A quick Google search for the term “aging” returns topics such as “coping with aging,” “what you can do about aging,” and even “the cure to aging.” The negative connotations to aging are, regrettably, so embedded within our culture that it is forecasted that by 2021, we’ll be spending over $300 billion in anti-aging products.

While it’s easy to get caught up in the issues that could be realized in getting older – health concerns, the passing of friends and family, and cognitive issues – what’s getting lost in the shuffle are the incredible gains of growing older. Consider, for instance:

  • A recent report by Stony Brook University revealed that senior loved ones are more content overall, with reportedly declining feelings of anger and anxiety in old age.
  • Socialization and conflict resolution skills are superior in later years, reported by research performed by the University of Michigan.
  • In a game aimed to induce and examine regret, seniors outshined their younger counterparts with their ability to manage emotions.
  • And according to Cornell sociologist Karl Pillemer who surveyed 1,200 elderly people, the consensus was that the past 5 or 10 years were indeed the happiest of their lives. “Many people said something along these lines: ‘I wish I’d learned to enjoy life on a daily basis and enjoy the moment when I was in my 30s instead of my 60s,’” Pillemer shares.

Not only that, but retired adults are able to explore and realize hobbies and talents without having the time demands of younger, employed adults, which can lead to a renewed zest for life, new social ties, and enhanced bonds with existing friends and family.

Responsive Home Care helps highlight the advantages of the aging process in many ways. Instead of simply coming in and executing tasks that a senior loved one can no longer complete, we identify the person’s particular skills, empowering her or him to follow new pursuits with the encouragement of a friendly caregiver.

Whether it’s learning a new skill or language, taking a vacation to a long-desired destination, committing to get physically healthier, or whatever a senior’s goal, we are available to give motivation, transportation and accompaniment, and a number of other services to help your loved one thrive and live life to the fullest.

Help your senior loved one identify and accomplish brand new dreams! Contact the home care experts at Responsive Home Care by calling 954-486-6440 and requesting an in-home assessment to find out more.

In Caring for an Aging Parent, Are You Overstepping Boundaries as a Helicopter Child?

helicopter-parents

Learn how to avoid overstepping boundaries when it comes to caring for an aging parent.

We’ve all encountered helicopter parents, especially when a son or daughter leaves for college. In fact, we could possibly be guilty of hovering a touch too closely ourselves. Learning that appropriate harmony between caring and overstepping our boundaries is not easy. Read more

Senior Care Strategy: Incorporate “Play” to Strengthen Both Mind and Body

home care coral springs

Happy and funny senior couple playing hulahoop in park

Do you remember that feeling as a child when the school bell rang, indicating the end of arithmetic and the start of the best part of the day: recess? There was a tremendous sensation of freedom dashing out onto the playground, leaving behind the pressure of school work for a quick period of unstructured play. Read more

Ft. Lauderdale Home Care Experts Share 5 Signs of Dementia to Watch During the Holidays

A happy grandmother with her family on Christmas Eve

Learn the warning signs of dementia in this article by the Ft. Lauderdale home care experts.

As soon as the door swings open and your senior loved one wraps you in a warm hug, through the joyous holiday dinner and each timeless family custom, possibilities abound for not simply high quality time together, but also to assess how your parent is truly doing and if any red flags are detected. Read more