5 Ways to Make Living With an Older Adult Easier

In America today we have more and more multi-generational households. Here is a great article with tips on making such living situations easier on everyone! For help navigating senior care and home care in South Florida, visit us at Advocare.

5 Ways to Make Living With an Older Adult Easier

Try these simple solutions to ease the crankies and boost everyone’s mood.

One issue that family caregivers don’t often talk about is how cranky everyone can get living under one roof — especially if the person you’re caring for is sometimes or often cranky. You know the toll that it can take on the entire household — and how that person’s mood can rub off on you. But how do you go about making your home a happier place?

First off, make sure that the person in your care isn’t suffering from depression or a more serious mood-changing disease. After that, try these simple ways to cheer up a home — and everyone in it.

1. Reach out and touch someone

Jenny is a caregiver who lives in South Dakota. When she’d get home from work, often with hands full of grocery bags, she use to holler out a greeting, “Hi, Ma,” let the screen door shut behind her, and head straight into the kitchen. After one particularly trying day at work, Jenny walked in, hugged her mom, and then walked back to the car to get what she needed.

“I just hadn’t thought about it before,” she says. “I went in for that hug for myself, but I saw that it caught her off guard in a good way.” It only took a few seconds, but Jenny realized she’d previously been sending her mom the wrong message: She was another chore on Jenny’s to-do list. But the offer of a simple hug was that little bit of warmth her mom needed.

Touching those we care about releases oxytocin, a powerful hormone that helps us bond with others, lowers blood pressure, and reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Postmenopausal women often have low levels of oxytocin, but these hormones can be raised with a simple touch. If you’re caring for someone who’s battling disease, touch is a powerful healing agent.

How to get started: Every family has different ideas of what’s normal touching. Some people are huggers and some aren’t. If giving a hug is too out of character for you, then a simple remark such as, “Your hands look dry. Let me put some lotion on them” could lead to a soothing hand massage. Combing someone’s hair or touching his or her arm can also be relaxing. Look for little ways to make physical contact every day.

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