Recently, I came across a helpful article on motivating and encouraging seniors. This article is an excerpt from “How to Communicate Effectively with seniors.” Charles Milander stated, “Caring and developing successful relationships with older adults requires unique interpersonal skills and strategies.” He then outlined five ways to motivate and encourage older adults.
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1. Set achievable goals
Companionship and security are secondary needs that can be fulfilled. Goal-oriented people are more motivated, have a greater sense of purpose, and take pride in their accomplishments. The author suggests setting achievable goals and then supporting and helping others along the way. Even if it seems easy, such as completing 10 stretches or a small craft project each day, it can make a huge difference in seniors’ daily experience.
2. Encourage affirming self-identity
Companionship and emotional security are secondary needs that can be fulfilled. Many of us have been fortunate enough to be able to live the life of an older adult. Their lives were full of romance, adventure, and accomplishments. We can help them share their stories through words and photos, and reaffirm their value and achievements. Use photos, posters, posters, music, and movies to remind them of the positive things that they have done. Ask them questions and watch their faces light up as you tell their story.
3. Promote technologies
Security and independence are secondary needs that must be met. Seniors can connect via social networking with their loved ones. It’s also an easy way for loved ones and seniors to check in and assesses their emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.
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Although social networking doesn’t replace face-to-face interaction, it can be a great supplement that can help older adults feel closer to one another every day.
4. Promote a sense of utility
Companionship and security are secondary needs that can be fulfilled. Older adults need to feel useful. We can help them identify topics and tasks that they feel are important or necessary, even if their physical abilities are limited. They can feel valued and have something to offer by asking their opinion on important decisions or seeking advice from them on life issues.
5. Encourage adaptive, flexible coping skills
As older adults experience diminished cognitive and/or bodily function, they must be taught coping skills. This will help them to transition with dignity. You might consider: setting smaller goals, but more manageable goals; breaking down tasks into manageable steps; helping to set realistic goals; allowing seniors to do what they can (while still helping to achieve a goal). Seniors can have a better experience by having a sense of purpose, a strong sense and identity, being able to connect with their family and friends, feeling useful, and learning how to deal with diminished abilities.
In addition to being a life coach, Charles Milander is an artist, pastor and entrepreneur. Amazon bestseller author also a speaker and life and business strategist. You can listen to his podcasts on Spotify as well. Additionally, he is a Certified from the International Coaching Federation.