A Practice of Gratitude for Seniors and Their Loved Ones

GratitudeEVERYONE benefits from gratitude, in numerous aspects of life. Gratitude:

  • Makes us happier
  • Improves our health
  • Deepens relationships
  • Increases productivity
  • Brings relaxation
  • Cultivates resilience
  • Improves sleep

The list goes on and on. We’ve already talked about how you can show gratitude to the elderly people in your life, but we wanted to talk a little more deeply about the last one we mentioned on our list:

Cultivating Gratitude

This is really about helping each other to develop an attitude of gratitude (yes, we love to say that, even though it’s a popular phrase)!

When we commit to doing this with our elderly loved ones, we are benefiting them, our relationships and ourselves. Aging can be really challenging and at times heartbreaking, but it can also be a wonderful time in life, provided we have the tools to navigate the challenges that come our way. Gratitude is one such tool that can make a huge difference in quality of life for our senior loved ones. So, think about developing a practice of gratitude with the elderly people in your life.Start here

  • Think of a ritual. Take some time to think about something you can each do daily to focus on gratitude. It can be as simple as closing your eyes for five minutes and thinking about what (and who) you are grateful for or it can be more involved, like doing something kind for someone who yo are grateful to. Regardless, try to determine a regular time and duration for this, so that it becomes habitual (but not reetitive)!
  • Make a thank you list. Is there someone in your lives who you both appreciate very much? Sit down together and make a list of all the reasons why you are grateful to them. Then give it to them!
  • Say “thank you” before your feet hit the floor. When you wake up each morning, take a few seconds to say thank you for having another day. That way, you’ll start off on the right foot.
  • Find the light in the dark. This can be a challenging thing to do, but begin to find the thing to be grateful for in the hard parts of life. It’s an exercise, and the more you do it, the better you become at it. Maybe your loved one has recently learned that they can no longer drive their car. Sit together and think about the good things that can come of that. Maybe they will walk more. Maybe they will meet more friends through a ride share. Perhaps it just means that they’ll save money without having to buy gas or pay for repairs.
  • Be complimentary. Start with each other. Say something kind and genuine to your loved one. Then make it a goal to compliment one stranger a day. Pretty soon, it feels contagious and you will see more and more to be grateful for.
  • Celebrate and share talents. No matter what age we are, we all have talents that can benefit others. Talk with your loved one about what talents they like to share and find a way to volunteer together and use those talents.

There are many ways to cultivate gratitude in life and you can create a practice that uniquely suits you and your elderly loved ones. Feel free to share the ways that you practice gratitude with us! We’d be ever grateful to you.