Reaching senior years can be both an exciting and anxious time. For many, it’s a period of reflection on life accomplishments and looking ahead to retirement. But for others, the aging process can accompany feelings of insecurity, anxiety, and even depression.
This part is especially true when it comes to self-esteem. The American Psychological Association reports that self-esteem peaks at 60 but starts to decline afterward. And for seniors who are already struggling with confidence issues in the first place, the aging process can exacerbate these feelings.
If you have an aging parent who is struggling with self-esteem, there are things you can do to help. Here are a few suggestions you might want to consider:
Encourage Them to Stay Active
One of the best ways to maintain confidence is to stay active and engaged. As your parents reach their senior years, they may be less likely to get out and about.
It’s essential to encourage them to stay active, whether joining a seniors’ group, taking walks with a friend, or attending church or community events. Many of these groups offer social activities, educational opportunities, and even exercise classes designed specifically for older adults. These can be great ways for your parents to stay active and meet new friends.
Staying active will help them be connected with the community and feel confident in their abilities. It will also help keep their minds sharp and bodies healthy. So, it’s a win-win situation all around.
Help Them Stay Updated With Technology
The world is increasingly digital, and it can be easy for senior parents to feel left behind if they’re unfamiliar with technological advances. So, helping them get updated with technology can be a great way to boost their confidence.
Simply teaching them how to use email, text, or video chat can help them feel more confident communicating with family and friends. You can also help them stay up-to-date on current events by setting up news alerts or sharing articles with them online.
Although it may seem like a small thing, getting connected with technology can make a significant difference in how your aging parents feel about themselves.
Encourage Them to Volunteer
One of the best ways to boost self-esteem is to give back to others. When seniors volunteer, they feel good about helping others and gain a sense of purpose and belonging.
Your parents can volunteer in different ways, whether through their church or a local nonprofit. They can also volunteer at schools, hospitals, or other community organizations. You can also look for opportunities to volunteer as a family. It can be a great way to bond with your parents while also helping them feel more confident.
Whatever they choose, volunteering will help them feel needed and appreciated. And that can do wonders for their self-esteem.
Take Them to the Dentist
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one in five seniors aged 65 and above has lost all their teeth. And studies have shown that seniors with poor dental health are more likely to have lower self-esteem.
So, regularly taking your parents to the dentist is essential to maintaining their confidence. It’s also vital to help them take care of their teeth at home by brushing and flossing regularly. You can also look into implant dentistry to get artificial tooth replacements if they lose their teeth.
Taking care of their oral health will help your parents feel good about themselves and give them the confidence to smile more often. Thus, improving their self-esteem.
Make Sure Their Home Is Safe and Well-Maintained
Another way to help your parents feel confident is by ensuring their home is safe and well-maintained. A safe and comfortable home environment can make a significant difference in how they think about themselves.
Ensuring their home is well-lit, clean, and clutter-free can help them feel more confident and independent. You can also help them with yard work or home repairs as needed. Making sure their home does not have hazards will also give them peace of mind and make them feel more confident about their abilities.
Aging can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be all downhill. There are many ways you can help your parents boost their self-esteem. So, don’t hesitate to lend a hand. By being supportive, you can help them age with confidence.
The above are only some ideas to get you started. There are endless possibilities when it comes to helping your parents improve their self-esteem. So, get creative and have fun with it. Most importantly, don’t forget to show your parents how much you love and appreciate them. That alone will make a world of difference.