If you’re a caregiver or friend of a homebound loved one, you see and understand the mental and emotional toll that being homebound can have on someone. Getting caught up in the usual routine of caring for our loved ones is easy to do. We often forget to "think outside of the box" when it comes to activities and ideas to help open the hearts and minds of someone who struggles with feeling lonely, isolated, and somewhat lost.
Below are seven simple yet effective ideas to help your loved one feel understood, cared for, and refreshed.
- Play Music – It is well-known that music can be powerfully healing. Studies show listening to music can assist with many positive health benefits, from lowering stress and anxiety to reducing pain levels. Try turning on an old classic album or singing hymns to create an uplifting atmosphere.
- Get Some Fresh Air – Studies show fresh air can improve energy and mental focus, among other benefits. Take your loved one outside to sit, chat, and listen to nature. If this is not possible, open a window or the blinds to let in the sunshine.
- Read A Book – Reading relaxes the heart rate and muscle tension, lowering stress and anxiety. It can also enhance cognitive function and memory recall. A study by The University of Sussex found that reading for as little as 6 minutes per day can lower stress by 68%. Make a trip to the local library to check out a few of your loved one's favorite types of books.
- Be An Interviewer – Reminiscing about one's life is full of positive health benefits, from reducing depression symptoms to assisting in developing communication skills. Try asking a series of questions you’ve never asked before that might recall old memories not thought of in a while.
- Give Back – Just because an individual is homebound does not mean they cannot make a meaningful contribution to their local community. Studies show that volunteering can give senior citizens a sense of purpose and well-being. If your loved one knits, various organizations collect blankets, scarves, and hats for those in need. Try writing a letter to a soldier or creating cards for a local hospital.
- Play A Game – Playing games have been shown to improve brain function and reduce stress. Dust off an old board game, complete a puzzle, or have a word search competition. Gather a few friends or family for a competitive game of Bingo, and the socialization will provide an additional benefit to your loved one.
- Make A Healthy Meal – Poor nutrition can contribute to several health factors. Yet, providing proper nutrition can be incredibly challenging for homebound seniors. Deliver a delicious and nutritious meal or prepare a meal in the senior's home so they can feel included and purposeful.
Integrate any of these ideas into the life of your homebound loved one, and not only will it put a smile on their face, but it will put a smile on yours too!
At Interim HealthCare, we know being a full-time caregiver for a loved one can be challenging in numerous ways. Our Personal Care and Support Services team is here to fill in the gaps for you in the areas where you may need some extra help. We’d be honored to assist with a wide variety of tasks to help support and enhance the life of your loved one. As part of our HomeLife Enrichment standard of care, we believe that truly successful at-home care must consider the whole person, mind, body, spirit, and family.
Do you have questions about Personal Care and Support Services?