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When the Challenges of Aging Affect Self-Esteem—How Can You Help Your Loved One?

It might seem a little ironic that self-esteem goes up and down throughout various stages of life. 

As children, most of us have all the self-esteem in the world. As teenagers, that self-confidence can waver as we try to figure out who we are and go through some “awkward” stages. 

When we’re finally an adult, it often feels like things have balanced out, and we can be happy with who we are. 

As we age, though, self-esteem can start to dip again for a variety of reasons. Aging equates to getting old, and the challenges of aging vary. We might not be as quick as we once were. We might have wrinkles or saggy skin. And the list of challenges goes on and on. 

If you have a loved one who is facing these challenges of aging and their self-worth seems to be decreasing every day, what can you do? 

Promote Socialization

Many times, a lack of self-esteem due to aging is linked to loneliness. Your aging loved one might feel as though they don’t have the relationships they used to have when they were young because they’re too old and can’t be as active. 

Help them to combat this difficulty by introducing them to new friends and reconnecting them to old ones. Assisted living facilities and senior centers all over the country have many different activities for aging adults that allow them to move at their own pace, do things they enjoy, and meet new people. 

Advocate a Physically Active Lifestyle

It may be true that we slow down a bit with age. Usually, the body at 80 can’t do what it could at 20. But, that’s no reason for seniors to give up on exercise. Encouraging your aging loved one to develop a daily exercise routine can offer a huge boost to their self-esteem. How so?

When working out, the brain releases endorphins that endow a feeling of happiness and calm. When an older individual regularly experiences this kind of neurochemical lift, they’ll start to feel better about themselves. Plus, exercise can also help to boost their confidence, knowing they’re stronger than they may have originally thought. 

Encourage Activities to Keep Their Mind Sharp

While it’s important for older individuals to stay physically active, it’s just as crucial for them to stay mentally active. When seniors find the world to be dull or boring or feel they can’t learn anymore, they often start to feel stagnant. 

By introducing your loved one to new ideas and things they can learn, not only can their concentration and memory improve, but so can their self-esteem. As the saying goes “you’re never too old to learn something new”! The challenges of aging shouldn’t stop you. 

How your loved one chooses to continue learning is up to them. It’s best to start by encouraging them with things they already enjoy. Have they always loved cooking? Sign them up for a cake decorating class. Are they fans of art? Encourage them to attend a painting course. Seniors can even grasp the technical side of things by taking classes online or learning how to do a new job. 

When a senior chooses to stay active instead of passive in every way, they’re more likely to have greater self-esteem. Conversely, when someone accepts aging as a “horrible” thing or associates it with the end of life, self-esteem will inevitably plummet.

Senior therapy can make a big difference in how someone views and responds to the challenges of aging. 

If you have an elderly loved one who is struggling with their self-esteem issues and you want to help, feel free to contact us. Together we can go over different approaches to help them boost their self-worth.

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