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OlderMan_pexels-beytlik-7522138Photo credit Pexels - Beytlik

Despite increasing awareness of and sensitivity to ageism in our society, age-related stereotypes about stubborn, grumpy seniors persist. Chronic health conditions, changes in functioning, and the loss of loved ones pose physical and emotional challenges that can bring even the most cheerful elders down from time to time, but depression and irritability are not normal parts of aging. In fact, research shows that perceptions of life and overall happiness actually tend to improve with age.

The rollercoaster of life is full of ups and downs at all ages. During these fleeting low points, it is natural for family members and caregivers to want to lift an elder’s spirits in an attempt to help them feel better and improve relationship dynamics. Sometimes you’ll succeed and sometimes you’ll fail, but it never hurts to try.

Before offering some suggestions, I encourage you to be sensitive to signs of anxiety, physical pain, and fear. There are many potential sources of addressing an older adult's moods and addressing these underlying causes will ensure your efforts are more successful. Just keep in mind that you want to help a senior truly perk up, not pressure them to feign happiness for your sake. 

Continue reading for some ideas on how to cheer up an older adult who may be bored or even feeling unwell:

Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories.“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.” ...Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

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