Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Angie Szumlinski News

We can all relate to that “good feeling” we get when life is just “good” right? Or maybe you have that friend who is always happy, nothing seems to keep them down even during the throes of a pandemic! Maybe we should buckle up and join the happy club! Did you know that in a 12-year study conducted in China, people who felt happy about life had a slower cognitive decline? It is true, the study found that with a better outlook on life and stable, psychological well-being, your risk of cognitive decline is lower!

What impact could (or should) this have on you, the caregiver? Well, that is an interesting question. To start with, depending on your role, the impact you can have on improving quality of life programming in your center might be huge. During the pandemic, we have seen increased levels of depression, isolation, loneliness, and overall apathy in many of our residents. It is no coincidence, being locked down has impacted every aspect of our residents’ lives.

Is there a quick fix? Probably not, however with the staffing challenges we are experiencing, maybe it is time to implement a universal caregiver program with primary care focus. This might mean that the same CNA who assists with ADL care will also bring residents to the activity and participate in engaging them. Music is also a great mood lifter! If you have ever watched residents’ reactions to familiar music, their feet are tapping and they are smiling, even residents with cognitive decline respond to music. Think about what makes your residents feel good, focus on those activities more often, and yes, bingo makes many of them feel good! Stay well, stay informed, and stay tuned!