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Seniors, Aging & Self-Esteem

By Debbie Waddell, 8:00 am on

Issues with self-esteem are most commonly observed in the teenage demographic, however recent research is beginning to note increased incidences of poor self-esteem among the elderly. With age, seniors undergo many changes to their body and mind, affecting both their appearance and abilities. This can be a source of negative emotions, impacting how seniors may perceive themselves. Here are a few of the most common self-esteem issues experienced by the seniors and aging adults:

Issues with Body Image

Skin loses elasticity with age, fat composition increases and hair typically turns gray, sometimes thinning. For many seniors, these dramatic changes in appearance can leave them with negative feelings. Fortunately, while these changes rely on genetics, lifestyle factors play a role as well. Abstaining from cigarette smoking, eating healthy foods, limiting alcohol intake and making other positive changes can delay and even decrease the appearance of normal aging. Helping the senior to focus on positive attributes of their body can also help with a positive attitude and healthier image.

Decreased Physical Abilities

Mom or dad may feel bad if they are unable to do certain activities for themselves. Having to rely on another person for some or all of their care may not only be perceived as embarrassing, but may also contribute to issues with self-esteem. To help minimize feelings of incompetency or worthlessness, allow your aging loved one to do as much for themselves as safely possible. You may even want to consider hiring a part-time caregiver in Placer County to assist with daily activities. These individuals will not only ensure your loved one’s safety, they are trained in how to help with activities while promoting the optimal level of independence for their client.

Changes in Cognition

Changes in cognition at any level can change how a senior feels about themselves. This may be in part due to the negative stereotypes that portray seniors as being senile or unintelligent when or if they forget something. Family members can provide positive support by remaining patient with the parent, allowing extra time to respond and reassuring them that everyone forgets sometimes. Seniors in the early stages of dementia can also experience a lower sense of self-esteem, especially those in the early stages who recognize that their memory is no longer what it once was. For seniors diagnosed or living with dementia, working with Placer County dementia care specialists may be a good way to promote positive feelings for the senior. Trained individuals will know how to manage symptoms and can also work to form a regular routine and a bond of trust to ease the senior’s anxieties.

Interested in learning more about senior care? Visit our website at www.homecareassistanceplacercounty.com or contact a Care Manager directly at 916-226-3737. Our phone lines are open 24/7 to answer your questions.

 

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