Any time is a great time to embrace good habits, especially if they’re new ones. But adding new habits can feel impossible at first. Try these tips with your senior.
Break the New Habits Down
New habits are often intimidating because they’re new. Even if they’re something your senior wants to do, like starting to exercise, that’s still a big change. So, break the new habit down into smaller and more actionable pieces. Instead of deciding she’s going to walk for an hour every day, encourage your senior to start out with a five- or ten-minute walk. As the habit becomes more cemented in her routine, she can bump up the time.
Stack the New Habit with Existing Habits
Lots of times people think they don’t have a routine or a set of habits, but everyone does. And if your senior wants to add new habits it’s a lot easier to do that if she stacks the new habit onto existing ones. If she always grabs the newspaper first thing in the morning and then has coffee and breakfast, that’s an example of habit stacking. With the walk example, she might go out to take a short walk, and then grab the newspaper and have breakfast.
Make it as Easy as Possible to Do the New Habit
The easier it is for your senior to do the new habit, the more likely it will be that she keeps going. In the case of taking a walk in the morning, your senior may want to put walking clothes next to her bed or in the bathroom so she can change into them first thing in the morning. Keeping walking shoes right be the door she uses to go get the paper can encourage her to take that quick walk.
Leave Room for Mistakes
New habits are difficult because they’re new. When your senior makes changes to her routine on purpose, it’s not an automatic action. She has to think about it more. That means that there are going to be times when she forgets about the new habit or it doesn’t fold into her routine as perfectly as she would like. That has to be okay, because it’s all a learning experience.
Celebrate the Wins
It’s really important that your senior celebrates the wins she collects while she’s trying on new habits. If she gets that walk in four mornings the first week, that’s huge. That’s an accomplishment, especially if she didn’t get any walks in the week before.
Sometimes having someone else there to offer help and reminders is good for establishing new habits. Your senior might benefit from having elderly care providers offering that support for her.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elderly Care in Canton, MI please contact the caring staff at No Place Like Home Health, LLC today. 734-259-4200
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