Although age is just a number, it changes your life once you step into the golden years. You may gradually become more dependent on others, specifically if you suffer from a chronic health issue or loss of mobility. Eventually, you may require full-time caregiver support.
With the aging population growing rapidly in the US, caregiving will likely be in high demand in the future. According to 2021 data, 16.8% of the nation’s population (55.8 million) was over 65, and the number is expected to reach 22% by 2040. State-wise averages vary, with Maine and Florida being the oldest states, Tennessee somewhere in the middle, and Colorado, Texas, and Utah being relatively younger.
Being dependent on caregiver support as a senior is scary. The countless horror stories of nursing home residents may stress you out even more if you don’t have a family caregiver.
You may lose your motivation sooner rather than later. However, studies suggest that loss of motivation is not an inevitable part of aging. The right approach can keep you motivated over the decades.
How to Stay Motivated as you Get Older
We will share a few ways to retain your motivation and zeal even as you become dependent on caregiver support.
1. Choose Aging in Place
According to a recent survey, 93% of American adults showed an inclination to age in place rather than living in assisted living facilities or nursing homes.
Fortunately, in-home care is accessible almost everywhere in the country. Even in states like Colorado, where only 3% of the population is over 80, there are plenty of options in-home care agencies.
You may find many agencies providing home care in Denver because the city is expected to witness the most significant increase for the 75-84 age group. You can save money by hiring a home caregiver yet get the best care and comfort that comes with aging in place.
Choosing this living arrangement can go a long way in keeping you motivated, even as a senior dependent on caregiving support.
2. Set Realistic Goals
Goals and milestones aren’t only for young people. They also keep seniors motivated during their golden years. As you define your goals, ensure they are realistic and achievable, considering your capabilities and constraints. You may end up hurting your motivation levels by setting lofty workout goals if you are frail or struggling with mobility issues.
Discuss your goals with your caregiver and seek their advice to decide on actionable ones. They recommend breaking larger objectives into smaller and attainable milestones, such as walking from one end of the park to another before taking longer walks.
Remember to celebrate the most minor achievements. Your caregiver can be your cheerleader throughout the journey.
3. Cultivate Mental Stimulation
A recent study discovered that mental stimulation can improve short-term memory in older adults. Besides maintaining cognitive function, it can also boost your motivation for life during the golden years.
You can explore options such as reading, puzzles, and games that challenge your mental abilities and push you out of your comfort zone. Learning new skills is even better.
Caregivers can play a significant role in facilitating these activities. For example, they may help you indulge in a hobby like gardening or become a gaming partner as you discover the thrill of online gaming. They can also help you find a mind-boosting pursuit that aligns with your interests, preferences, and abilities.
4. Embrace Technology
Seniors living away from family often miss their loved ones. Suppose you live in Memphis, Tennessee, and your children reside in distant states like California or Nevada.
You can get excellent home care in Memphis because Tenessee has several reputable providers. However, you may still want to see your loved ones more often. Leveraging technology can bridge the distance gap.
Your caregiver can help you connect with your kids and grandkids via video calls. They may even introduce you to the wonders of social media and online communities where you can make new friends and connect with like-minded seniors.
The world is open for you, regardless of age and distance limitations. Reaching out will keep your motivation levels high.
5. Establish Routine and Structure
A structured daily routine brings a sense of order and predictability to your life. Knowing you have someone to ensure personal care, meals, and medication on time keeps you stress-free and motivated. Your caregiver does it all for you and becomes your companion during difficult days when motivation levels ebb.
According to Always Best Care Senior Services, home care should go beyond the daily basics like bathing and grooming, laundry services, meal prep, and housekeeping.
It should be more personalized, where your caregiver understands your needs and challenges and helps you structure your routine and lifestyle accordingly.
In conclusion, transitioning to a stage when you accept full-time caregiver support is not about relinquishing control. You may get a companion and friend who helps you stay motivated, even when you opt for a professional caregiver. This person can facilitate and support your efforts to enrich and empower your life.