How to Care for Mentally Alert Seniors with Physical Limitations
Many people feel that their brains stay young even as their bodies age. Physical challenges affecting mentally alert seniors can be frustrating as a result.
Many aspects of aging are challenging. In addition, the deterioration of the body is one of those challenges. For seniors who are mentally alert, coping with physical limitations can be especially difficult. There are several ways to help seniors’ mental well-being while they struggle with their physical health.
|Signs of a Mentally Strong Senior
• Can carry on fluid conversations
• Remembers recent activities
• Is socially engaging
• Is aware of current news
• Can communicate needs and challenges
• Engages in mindful activities
• Recognizes physical changes and limitations
The Challenges of Being Alert but Limited Physically
When a person ages, they can expect to experience some deterioration. What many seniors don’t expect, though, is how difficult it can be to become physically limited remaining mentally aware. Some compare the experience to felling like a young person trapped in an elderly body.
Challenges that result include:
- A loss of ability to participate in physical activities
- Increased dependence on others for everyday life
- Mental stamina that is greater than physical endurance
- Frustration with desires to act that they cannot carry out
- Depression from a perceived loss of purpose or independence
- Anxiety over physical changes and limitations
Coping with the Physical Aging Process
Since anxiety and depression can result when mentally alert seniors struggle with physical challenges, it is important to protect their emotional well-being. Coping mechanisms many seniors find helpful include the following:
- Adopting hobbies that require mental agility but little physical effort
- Using technology and tools to adapt to physical limitations
- Retaining independence in whatever ways are possible
- Regularly engaging socially apart from physical activity
- Having access to transportation if independent driving is not possible
- Participation in reasonable physical activities, especially to prevent further limitation
Preventing Depression Among Seniors
Depression can increase mortality rates and overall health, especially among seniors. Since physical limitation can contribute to depression, it is important to help physically impaired seniors prevent depression.
Preventing depression can include the following:
- Regular social engagement
- Mentally stimulating activities
- Participating in purposeful hobbies
- Receiving counseling
- Adaptations that promote independence
- A positive attitude
- The support of loved ones
|Home Care Tip
For many mentally strong seniors, a positive perspective can make coping with physical challenges easier. Remind seniors of the people who love them and value them. Help them focus on their purpose and pleasures. Offer a perspective of gratitude and hope instead of dwelling on limitations.
Don’t let your mentally alert seniors with physical limitations cope alone. Our caregivers here at HomeSpark can assist with the physical ailments by providing a variety of of non-medical in-home care services for seniors in Bryan/College Station. Our in-home care services also allow your senior loved one to receive day-to-day help with the personal care they need. Therefore, this preserves their dignity and maintaining a good quality of life.