SRAinformed :: Spring 2018 SRA_monthly_spring2018_singles - Page 6

that many studies have shown the benefits of secure, have more motivation for constructive use churchgoing for seniors: “Those frequently at- of time and require less medication than non-pet tending religious services have been found to have owners. Animal companionship facilitates estab- lower mortality rates than those with infrequent lishing friends and gives them a reason to get up in attendance.” Older church goers not only benefit the morning.” Obviously, you need to make certain from the social interaction and sense of purpose that the senior is capable and willing to properly that weekly worship provides, but they also ben- care for the pet before giving a pet as a gift. Even efit from the watchful eye of other churchgoers, tending a garden can satisfy our nurturing drive, so who are likely to recognize a decline in an isolated giving a senior a plant or gardening supplies can senior that may have gone unnoticed otherwise. also be beneficial. GIVE A SENIOR SOMETHING ENCOURAGE A POSITIVE BODY IMAGE TO TAKE CARE OF Research has shown that many older adults avoid Many experts note that the act of nurturing can social interaction because of a poor body image. relieve feelings of social isolation. In the peer Compliments and positive comments can go a reviewed paper “Emotional Benefits of Dog Own- long way to boosting the self-esteem of seniors. ership,” Eve Beals outlines the benefits of nurturing Similarly, discouraging seniors from fretting over a pet: “Pet owners remain engaged socially, have their appearance or catastrophizing the cosmetic less depression, suffer less loneliness, feel more effects of aging may help them avoid becoming self-conscious to the point that they avoid social interactions. For seniors who are genuinely overweight, addressing the root problem by encouraging weight loss through healthy eating and exercise can be helpful, but always be positive and sensitive in efforts to encourage older loved ones to lose weight. ENCOURAGE HEARING AND VISION TESTS Seniors with undiagnosed or untreated hearing problems may avoid social situations because of difficulty communicating or embarrassment. Encourage seniors to have their hearing checked and hearing problems treated. A hearing aid may be the only barrier between them and better social health. Vision tests are also important be- cause sight problems limit opportunities for social interactions with others. PUPPY LOVE Assuming the senior is capable of caring for a pet, nurturing and caring for an animal companion can be quite beneficial. 6 SENIORRESOURCEASSOCIATION.ORG MAKE ADAPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES AVAILABLE From walkers to hearing aids, devices help seniors compensate for age related deficits and deficien- cies that can impede social interaction. Sometimes