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Boosting Self-confidence in an Older Loved One

Many people experience bouts of confidence issues throughout their lifetime. A lack of confidence can be debilitating to our self-esteem and lead to behaviours such as avoiding social contact, trying new activities, or negative thinking. This state of mind can also be detrimental to our overall well-being.

As we get older, there can be an increased risk of low self-esteem due to a change in appearance, loss of independence, health issues, or reduced mobility. Older adults can also have low self-esteem due to feeling disconnected from the rest of the world.

When an elderly loved one develops a lack of confidence and begins to shut themselves in, we naturally want to lend a helping hand to help them regain their vitality.

Here are seven steps you can take to help them regain their self-confidence.

Ensure they practice good self-care

Having low self-esteem can cause someone to think they’re not worth the effort to maintain good hygiene. However, as we all know, when we like the way we look, we feel better about ourselves.

Gently encourage them to shower daily, brush their teeth, and wear clean clothes, even if they’re not going anywhere that day. Feeling clean and comfortable can help lift one’s opinion of themself.

Let them wear clothes they love

You’re never too old to be fashionable! Wearing clothes we feel confident in does wonders for our self-esteem. Putting a daily wardrobe together allows us to express ourselves and demonstrate our uniqueness, boosting self-confidence.

Help your loved one put their look together for one day or plan their clothes for the week. Allow them to select bright patterns, bold colours, or something simple, so they feel in control. You can also help them accessorize with belts, jewelry, and more.

Encourage them to keep moving

Staying active is one of the most crucial steps an older person can take to protect their mental and physical health. Exercise alleviates stress and anxiety, boosts one’s self of independence, and increases confidence. It also triggers dopamine, a naturally-occurring hormone that helps support memory, motivation, and many other crucial functions that contribute to overall well-being.

Walking, hiking, and yoga are often done in groups, creating socialization opportunities that can help your loved one make new connections, improving their sense of self-worth.

Inspire them to indulge in a favourite activity

Few things boost confidence like doing something we love! Encourage the person to pick up a favourite pursuit again, such as playing a musical instrument, baking yummy cookies, knitting, or photography.

They can always start a new hobby, such as writing a book, yoga, or anything else they’ve always dreamed of doing. There’s no limit to what we can achieve once we put our minds to it, taking our confidence to new heights!

Keep them connected with family and friends

When we suffer from low self-confidence, we might feel we add little value to other people’s lives. Create opportunities for your loved one to be with family and friends to help remind them that people want to spend time with them. Enjoying the company of others will give them a fast and long-lasting burst of self-esteem.

If their circle of friends is small, suggest that they join clubs or senior groups so they can develop new meaningful relationships.

Connect them with volunteer opportunities

Doing good work in your community benefits others and helps you feel you’re accomplishing something positive. It also provides new opportunities to meet people who believe in the same causes you do, creating instant bonds and conversation points. Many older people work with animals, in hospitals, at charitable events, or as advocates for social causes.

Find out what’s important to your loved one, and check for volunteer opportunities online. The more relevant the cause is to the person, the more likely they’ll commit to volunteering for it on a regular basis.

Modify their home to help them maintain independence

Having difficulty navigating the home due can trigger a feeling of lost independence, leading to feelings of helplessness and a drop in self-confidence. The truth is that most older people will experience some reduction in mobility that can affect their ability to carry out daily activities of living (ADLs), such as bathing, housekeeping, or cooking.

You can take steps to help the person regain their independence by making minor modifications to their home, such as:

  • Installing handrails in the shower
  • Reorganizing the house so that items used daily are within easy reach
  • Replacing kitchen utensils with easy-grip alternatives

These strategies can help your loved one maintain independence and boost sustainable self-confidence.

Listen to them with love and empathy

That inner voice can be our worst enemy when our self-confidence is low. For some people, it can make overcoming self-esteem issues on their own seem like an insurmountable challenge.

Listening with an empathetic ear and without judgment might help the person break the harmful self-talk. Show support by validating their feelings and allowing them to focus on their strengths and all the wonderful things they have to offer. Showing them genuine concern can lead them down a new path of self-rediscovery and better self-confidence.

Remember, you might be unable to help turn things around for your loved one overnight. Encouraging them to take accessible, meaningful steps toward a more positive self-image will get them progressively closer to an improved state of mind.
Finally, keep in mind that when you need support caring for an elderly loved one’s mental and physical health, CareHop is here for you.

Quality in-home elder care services in Etobicoke, Mississauga, and Brampton

CareHop specializes in providing quality eldercare services when families need a helping hand.

If your elderly loved one is experiencing a lack of self-confidence or low self-esteem, our professional caregivers can help. Along with comprehensive healthcare services, we also offer casual companionship that helps reassure your older relative that they’re not alone.

CareHop’s elder care services are designed to positively impact your loved one’s life throughout the year or at certain times when you need us the most.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation discussion to discover how we can help you.

About the Author

Michael Lu is the founder of CareHop. He started the business inspired by his Grandmother to look at ageing as a happy experience to bring sunshine into the homes of others.

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