Goals are incredibly important to the achievement of any great outcome. It’s how we structure our lives and organize ourselves. For example, the two most common goals in senior living are to remain independent and to age in place. Luckily, achieving these goals doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, our friends at Vivante bring a variety of resources/advice you can use to achieve any goal. Here are 10 friendly ways to motivate seniors to achieve their goals:
1. Give Them Something To Look Forward To
Seniors may have a hard time setting goals and then achieving them. That doesn’t mean they can’t be encouraged to set their sights on something that will help them grow and develop. For example, if they want to improve their health, find a fun class to take. Even if they don’t achieve all of their goals, do your best to find ways for them that are within reach.
2. Be A Good Listener
Although seniors can become easily distracted, they do want to hear what you have to say. In fact, many seniors are lonely and enjoy the company of younger family members and friends. If they know you are interested in what they have to say and care about their opinion, they will likely become more interested in what you offer and may even want to spend more time with you.
3. Let Them Know You’ll Be There To Help
If your loved one is struggling with a goal, they must know they have support from you, too! You don’t want someone feeling alone in their quest for success—and you certainly don’t want them giving up just because they’re having trouble doing something as simple as taking a shower or getting dressed every morning!
4. Give Them Choices
One of the best ways to motivate seniors is to give them choices. After all, if you offer them a choice between two options and one is more appealing, chances are good that they’ll choose that option over going with the less appealing option.
Here are some ways you can do this:
- Give your client a choice between two or three things or activities that they want to pursue at home. For example, maybe he wants his wife’s help choosing music for their favorite mealtime while she’d rather learn how to dance ballet moves at her local rec center; together, they can make those decisions!
- Offer your clients choices between brands (i.e., which ones get purchased) when it comes down to purchasing things like food items such as frozen meals versus fresh fruits & vegetables from local farmers markets, which will save money, too, since there’s no need for shipping costs involved.”
5. Create A Sense Of Urgency
Seniors may need help from time to time to achieve their goals, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get back on track. The key is to create a sense of urgency. They will appreciate your assistance, but don’t force them to do anything that feels like “babysitting.” Instead, work out a routine and schedule with them. Don’t be afraid to ask for their opinion. Asking a senior for her ideas makes her feel younger and more active.
In addition, families should look into home healthcare providers that offer memory training and wellness coaching. Vivante Senior Living is one of the leaders in these fields. Find more details here!
6. Help Them Identify Their Strengths And Weaknesses
As a caregiver, you should be helping your senior to identify their strengths and weaknesses. They will then be able to use these skills to overcome any obstacles that may hinder achieving their goal.
When working with seniors on overcoming obstacles, it is important for you not to take on the role of a parent but rather as a friend who supports them through their journey.
7. Create An Environment Filled With Activities According To Your Loved One’s Interests
You can also use the goal-setting chart to remind them of what they have already done. For example, if your loved one has already completed a series of exercises, put an “X” next to it. If they have blown bubbles, put a smiley face next to it to show them how proud you are of them.
If your senior loved one enjoys reading the newspaper, ask them to read the articles out loud so that you can both take note of which stories are more interesting to them.
What is something about their life that would be fun for you and your loved one to do together? For example, does your loved one enjoy taking walks around the neighborhood? Invite them on a walk and encourage them to get some fresh air, structure their activity and talk to you about their day.
8. Sensory Stimulation
From food to exercise, sensory stimulation can be used to help seniors achieve their goals. We can’t all be there to cook them a meal or take them for a walk, but we can find ways to keep the lines of communication open. Keep the person’s daily schedule visible in their kitchen, so they know what’s coming up and what to expect. Photos of friends, family and loved ones are also a good way for seniors to keep in touch with their social circle.
9. Plan Trips!
If your senior loved one is resistant to setting goals — or they already do but never accomplish them — try partnering with them to plan a fun, exciting trip they can look forward to in the coming year. It can be a road trip, a cruise, a visit to a new place or just a weekend getaway. Whatever it is, make it big and impressive — but also make sure it’s something that you’re both passionate about, as this will make it impossible for them to resist turning their plan into reality.
10. Ask Them How They’re Feeling
While it’s important to set high-level goals for seniors, according to a report from the National Library of Medicine, it’s also important to dig a little deeper and ask them how they feel about the goals you’ve set for them.
This simple question can prompt them to self-evaluate and provide insight into what they truly want out of life. And if your seniors don’t feel as though they’re reaching their goals, it’s time to have a discussion with them about what they need to achieve their personal goals.
The key is to be encouraging and keep the rewards simple. You don’t want to over complicate things or make your loved one feel like they have to do something extraordinary for you. Help them identify their strengths and weaknesses, but don’t judge them. And remember that there are always ways to motivate seniors without being overbearing or judgmental — like offering choices instead of telling them what they should do.