Are there some new habits that your senior wants to introduce into her daily or weekly routine? There are some tips you can use that can help her to make that a lot easier.
Introduce Changes Slowly
The new habit might be a good one, and it might even be one that your senior is interested in adding to her life. But that doesn’t mean that change is something that she finds easy to do. Start out slowly with changes and let her catch up to herself as the new habit takes hold. This can happen more quickly and more effectively when your senior takes her time than it can when she tries to rush a new habit.
Do Something Called Habit Stacking
When your senior includes the new habit in with habits that are already a breeze for her, that’s called habit stacking. If she wants to make her bed as soon as she gets up, for instance, she might start out by stretching and getting out of bed first. Maybe her next step is always to go brush her teeth, but instead she quickly makes the bed, and then goes to brush her teeth. She’s still doing the habits that are solid, but she’s slipping the new one in between.
Keep at It, But Don’t Fret if the New Habit Isn’t Easy
New habits are tough to form. Your senior is much more used to not doing the new habit, whatever it is. There are going to be times when she forgets or when the new habit just doesn’t get incorporated the way that she planned. That’s part of life. As long as she keeps going, that’s what really matters.
Build in Reminders to Her Day
Depending on the habit, it might be more crucial for your senior to remember to include it in her daily tasks. Wearing new glasses or a new hearing aid are really important, for instance. You might include a note on her bathroom mirror or some other reminder that helps your senior. Older adults experiencing cognitive changes might need more help, though. Hiring a caregiver to help your senior to stay on task and to remember new habits can do the trick.
New habits aren’t easy to add into an established routine, but it’s definitely possible. Remind yourself and your senior to stay patient and to remember why the new habit is one that she wants to include.