Use Awareness
Senior Wellbeing
With 5 Steps

By Michael Walecki

Nothing stagnates senior-well being like poor competency as a caregiver, and insensitive caring.

Whether you’re the child of a senior, a nurse, a caregiver, or even a senior trying to ensure your health and vitality, I’m sure you know the feeling of neglect within the caring process.

Sometimes the carelessness is quite obvious, and it’s expressed as unfinished ADL’s, but sometimes the disregard comes in a less noticeable form like not knowing some key information that is the difference between outstanding vs sub-par care..

Get ready to learn the basic mechanics of awareness, and how we can use it to deepen senior well-being. We'll learn how we leverage awareness to help uncover genuine needs, and the methods we can use to increase our awareness - ultimately having a wider perspective of your life and senior well-being.  

The Mechanics of Awareness (Simplified)

What is awareness? In simple terms, awareness is the ability to perceive information.

When someone has a greater awareness (also known as consciousness) that means they have access to more information.

You might be asking, how do we receive this information? Humans first receive this information through their senses (touch, smell, taste, hearing, sight) and that information is then stored in their brain, and can be recalled using memory, and manipulated using cognition.

When we first encounter a brand new situation, we have a first impression based on limited information. And because it can appear to be all we need to make a decision, we choose to settle with that first impression.

But sometimes (more often than not) we only see the limited picture. 

You might be looking at senior care with limited knowledge and information.

So here are 5 ways to increase your awareness on senior care and senior wellbeing.

Learn More

Increasing Awareness In Senior Care

1. Understand Senior Health Care

Senior-care and well-being may be a brand new experience for you, so it's good to get a “bird’s eye view” on senior care and what it may mean for you and your loved ones.

Overall there are multiple facets of senior care to consider, and we classify them as 7 different domains:

Physical Health: Taking care of physical health, and supporting seniors in their physical needs.

Mental/Emotional Health: Increasing seniors with mental and emotional well-being.

Spiritual Health: Continually aligning oneself with their spiritual beliefs.

Social/Relationship: Creating and deepening social relationships.

Familial: Your most inner circle, your family member dynamics, and living space.

Vocational: We believe if you are here on earth, then you still have a mission to fulfill. Yes, that means seniors still have a purpose.

Resource Management: Managing the logistics and resources of day-to-day living.

There are subtopics to explore within each domain, and having this list is a great place to start when learning about senior care. If there are specific topics you would want to learn more about, feel free to drop a comment below and we’d love to dive deeper on that topic on our next blog.

2. Asking Friends and Family about personal experiences they’ve had with senior care.

You know you have access to an unlimited source of information online, but having an overwhelming amount of data can be exhausting to filter through.

To decrease that feeling of overwhelm, you can speak to someone within your social circle about their experience when it comes to senior care and senior well-being. 

If you cannot find someone close to you, visit online forums, read people's experiences, and ask questions annonymously.

These types of forums provide an objective, non-biased explanation from a real person with real-world experiences.

Having these types of discussions will increase your awareness about the realities of senior care, and will allow you to make better decisions when it comes to senior care and senior wellbeing.

3. Ask [QUALITY] Questions

I am sure you know that asking questions gives you an answer (wow genius insight there Michael….)
But wait! Hear me out!

The important thing to realize is that the quality of the answer you will receive is in direct proportion to the quality of the question you asked.

For example, asking...
“How can I help my senior increase their well-being?”

Is much different than asking…
“What are 10 different ways I can increase the health and vitality of the senior in my life, while also increasing their social well-being during that process?

These are 2 different questions that will bring 2 completely different answers.

Reflect on your personal situation, and the situation of the senior you care for. Try to understand your genuine needs by asking specific and quality questions.

We are putting together a questionnaire very soon to really help you dive deeper into your senior-care needs, but here are a few questions to get you started:

  • In your senior’s social circle, list the 3 people that give them more vitality, more happiness, and a greater sense of connection?   
  • What are 20 different things that can be done with those 3 people that involve a little bit of physical or mental activity?
  • What is the one thing that CAN be eliminated from your seniors life that would make everyone's life easier?
  • How would eliminating that thing make life easier for your senior? For you?
  • What positive changes would occur in your senior’s life after eliminating this one thing? What positive changes would occur in your life?
  • How much time does your senior spend alone? What ways can we decrease that time per day? (even by 5 minutes)
  • What is one very small, almost unimportant, things that your senior complains about?
  • Next time you notice them complaining, ask them why it bothers them. After this answer, ask them why?
  • Continue asking why (About 5 times in total) to get to the root cause of a problem.
  • If you could describe your desired care for your senior in 3 simple words, what would those three words be?

There are thousands of questions that you can ask to uncover the hidden insights of senior-well being.

The most important thing is to stay curious, and open-minded to what new information you discover.

Ask Us Your Questions

4. Journal

Have you ever had the experience where you had a million thoughts in your mind that were battling for your attention? And you became confused because of all the contradicting ideas that were bouncing bath and forth in your brain?

One way to reduce the chances of that happening is simply starting a caring journal - a journal that captures all of your thoughts about senior care.

Research has shown that writing has the potential to help a person organize and structure their thoughts which enhances both physical and mental well-being.

It's a great way to get all those thoughts onto paper, and to see a whole new source of information (your feelings), which can be used to make better decisions.

Here is a quick list on how to journal to regulate emotions, find new insights, and ultimately care for your loved ones:

  • Decide your means of writing (pen and paper, online journal, personal blog etc..)
  • Write about your current situation
  • How you feel about the senior that you are caring for
  • Write about past experiences of care, and how you feel about it
  • Write what angers you about this current situation
  • Write what benefits there are to this situation
  • Write what future experience you would like to create for yourself and loved one
  • Write what caring for your loved one would mean for you and your family.

The key point is to observe your feelings about your past, present and future when it comes to care, and your current situation. Most importantly, do not judge yourself, or hold yourself back when writing. 

Having this information will guide you when making future decisions, and will empower you to make decisions that will take care of your senior, but will also keep you fulfilled. 

5. Speak with a trusted professional

There are countless resources available for you, and you can reach out to organizations and request free information that will broaden your awareness about senior care.

Some of these types of organizations include the Canadian Cancer Society, and  Alzheimer Society Canada, both organizations that have ties to the senior care community. 

When looking for senior-care resources, ideas, or a deeper understanding, we also have a team of experts at Excel Care that can give deeper insights into your particular senior care situation, or give some industry knowledge that can help you make a more informed decision.

Whatever specific situation you are in, there is a good chance that there is an organization that is able to provide you free information in regards to that subject.

Receiving information that is straight from a reliable source will give you the confidence to make the best decision for you and your family.

Awareness as the First Step

Every single human has a sphere of awareness of every subject, which means they have access to more information, ideas and perspectives on that particular subject. 

These 5 steps will give you a great start to learning about senior care, about your relationship to it, and the many different components to senior care and senior well being. If you decide to do even one of these steps, we guarantee that you will be on the right path to providing genuine and competent care for your loving senior.

We understand looking for information yourself can be overwhelming.
If you'd like to have a conversation with another person about your senior care needs, we're happy to help.

Call Us Now

Michael Walecki is the Communication Specialist at Excel Care Nursing Services. When he’s not serving clients, he's either reading books or cycling on some backroad in Milton or Caledon. He calls
Mississauga, Ontario home.

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