How care support can help find happiness later in life

Happiness later in life

Helping mature adults in the pursuit of joy  

Happiness is a funny thing. Like joy, it can be found and nurtured in many different ways, and often look or feel different for everyone. As a provider of care services, it’s a point of practice for the Birchwood Care Services team to also help clients with holistic wellbeing and life enrichment. From promoting physical vitality, to providing connection and peace of mind for everyday tasks and helping clients to reconnect with hobbies that bring them joy. Because the best care goes beyond base physical maintenance. 

Nurturing peace of mind and confidence 

In part, life enrichment can come from the peace of mind and confidence instilled by practical support. Relieving the weight of tasks that have become more difficult to do alone, or at all, can have a great impact. For instance, it can free up time, mental space, and emotional capacity to focus on the pursuit of joy and simple pleasures. For example, at Birchwood Care Services, this can include: 

  • Domestic chores – like preparing or cooking meals, laundry, ironing, tidying, vacuuming, cleaning and washing up 
  • Shopping – including unpacking 
  • Household management – including dealing with mail and household bills 
  • Companionship – in the home and also out and about 
  • Appointments – including making bookings and transport to and from appointments 
  • Caring for pets – including feeding and walking 
  • Sitting service – so that carers or loved ones can enjoy a break 
  • Excursions – including days out and trips to enjoy hobbies or catch up with friends 
  • Dignified and respectful support 

Birchwood Care Services’ compassionate and respectful staff can also assist with a range of personal needs, to help clients feel their best self. These can include: 

  • Morning care – assistance with getting up in the morning 
  • Dressing and grooming – including getting ready for outings 
  • Bathing, washing and personal hygiene 
  • Evening care – settling in for the evening and/or going to bed 
  • Toileting – help and support with toileting and incontinence 
  • Medication – assistance with medicine regimes 
  • Stoma care 
  • Catheter care 

Devising tailored care plans and creating meaningful routines and experiences are all important aspects of personal fulfilment for clients. No care plan is the same, no clients’ needs or wants completely alike. Service delivery must be personalised to individuals’ needs, preferences and interests to truly access the highest quality of care and life enrichment. It should go beyond basic personal maintenance to truly enhance a client’s experience of life and break down any barriers that have grown over time. 

The gift of human connection and conversation 

Part of a carer’s role is to foster a sense of security and trust with each client. The significance of a safe and comfortable environment for seniors is paramount, both in terms of physical spaces and emotional support. The journey of growing older can be full of complex emotions and experiences that can create anxiety, stress or discomfort. This is also an important precursory aspect to finding joy, as it lays a positive foundation and makes more room to pursue happiness. 

Building a genuine, positive rapport with clients can be an overlooked factor of providing care services, when in fact, it’s incredibly imporant. Something as simple as having meaningful conversations, giving clients a chance to reminisce or speak their mind, can make a real difference to emotional wellbeing and experiencing joy. Engaging in conversation and building human connections can also have great cognitive benefits for keeping language and communication skills fresh, as well as memory recall and comprehension. Visits from carers are also important for helping to proactively address feelings of isolation, anxiety, or depression which may arise. 

Re-discovering hobbies and simple pleasures 

Tapping into one’s inner self can help figure out what truly sparks joy. Perhaps as a child a client enjoyed painting but found less time and energy to nurture this passion as they grew up. We’re often discouraged from pursuing things that aren’t monetised or are seen as unproductive or childish. Value is decreased and no longer seen as inherent, so we let things that spark joy fall to the wayside because they don’t fulfil other purposes considered more important and worthy of our time or attention as adults. 

Yet, with most clients being of retired age, now is the perfect time to help them tap back into those activities. To engage with something for the simple fact that it brings them joy. With more time and less conflicting priorities (like work or children, which for many likely took up much of their time, energy and resources for previous decades) there may again be more physical space and mental energy to devote to these passions. With this new focus of finding joy, tasks once seen as less important can become a priority again and take centre stage.  

This may be as simple as walking through blooming gardens and admiring the flora and fauna, putting together a puzzle or writing a few lines of a poetry. Perhaps it’s baking, collecting model cars, or embroidering clothes. There are any number of hobbies and activities that many lose touch with as they age and enter this new stage of life, because things become more difficult, require adaptions or simply feel too out of reach. That’s where care service providers like Birchwood Care Services can make a real difference to life enrichment. Carers can be the difference between wanting to do something, and actually being able to do it with confidence and comfort. 

For more insight about ways to find happiness later in life, take a look at this earlier blog on the benefits of yoga. 

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