With the indulgence and excess of Christmas and the festive season behind us, personal changes to health and wellbeing begin again with a fresh start. Decisions on self-improvement and lifestyle changes are kick started with the beginning of January, and frequently include dropping unhealthy habits, making better choices in diet and fitness, and taking better care of themselves.
But does self-care play an important role for the elderly?
With your elderly relatives, pampering and self-care might not be as easy to do any more, but encouraging older people to practice self-care activities and take the extra time to pamper themselves can be a fantastic way to promote independence through better physical care. This is especially important during the colder months, when many elderly people are susceptible to illnesses.
An independent life
Whether your older relatives are still living on their own or have some level of care support, it's important that they maintain their independence for as long as physically possible. Encouraging elderly people to look after themselves, through methods such as getting regular haircuts or having their nails done, can have a significant effect on their willingness to form and maintain relationships with friends, family and the community. It's not just something that should be prioritised for female relatives either, as men can be at even more risk of becoming isolated.
Ensuring older men are able to maintain their appearance, such as by buying new clothes or shaving, can make a huge difference to their social lives and mental health.
Dignity in later life
Anyone who has seen elderly care first-hand will understand how important it is for people to maintain their dignity as they age. This becomes even more essential when they become unwell, as it can limit their ability to be independent, especially after experiencing short or long-term illness.
Doing small self-care measures allows people of all ages to maintain a level of control over their lives, when many circumstances may be out of their control. This is vital at any stage in life but becomes an essential part of elderly care when people are limited physically, mentally or socially.
At Barchester, prioritising self-care is of great importance to our staff and our residents.
Promoting a culture of pampering and self-care among the elderly is something that our Barchester homes encourage. Many of our care homes now feature in-house hairdressing services for residents to book and attend, and some homes even plan spa days for our residents, where beauticians and chiropodists visit the home directly as an extra special treat.
Prioritising all aspects of health, including self-care highlights the importance of looking after yourself and health in general, and for your loved one, it is even more important at maintaining their overall health.
Encouraging these conversations with your loved ones about self-care help with other steps they can take to keep themselves healthy during the colder months, such as having the flu jab or looking into care options if there are concerns about their wellbeing. If you don't know where to start, do get in touch with our expert team here at Barchester, where we can offer you support and guidance.