Scallywag

It is not so much our friends' help that helps us, as the confidence of their help.

~ Epicurus ~

Life-Long Happiness Needs a Home

September 6th, 2011 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 59 secs

Life long happiness

Celebrating life’s happiness with greetings from Queen Elizabeth

Will you find happiness as you age? Do you plan on living out life at home? Or, do you relish the prospect of moving into managed accommodation?

Perhaps you’ve got an elderly parent you are currently caring for.  Given their level of need, how do you feel about the situation? These are vexed questions and many of us aren’t sure about the answers. Grappling with looking after your elderly parents, whilst tending to your own children and holding down a job is quite a juggling act. But you are more like to finding happiness in the process if you start planning.

As it stands, there are so many different models of care in different countries it’s all too easy to generalize, and some offer happier outcomes than others.In some cultures the welfare and care of ageing folks remains the sole responsibility and privilege of the extended family. Whilst at the other end, the government or a private body manages care through professionals in purpose-built accommodation.

Advocates of each approach point to quality of life benefits. But I have to admit I am biased toward people living out their life in their own home, providing certain needs are met and their general happiness is factored in.

What kind of conditions make life better at home than in a nursing home? Well here are a few that I believe every community needs to take seriously to promote dignity and happiness in old age, wherever people live.

Support Satisfying Relationships to Make Life Happier

One  main issue commonly linked with ageing is acute feelings of loneliness. Occurring in both institutional and home-based settings it’s a real happiness stealer. We all need each other, and the opportunity to at least share moments and express our feelings with people we know is central to a good life. Anything less just isn’t human.

Help Make Sense of Things

Whether it’s using modern technology or coping with crises, we all appreciate being able to make sense of life. Basing happiness on rich meanings provides an enduring foundation for living purposefully.

Uphold Life-Long Healthcare to Boost Happy Wellness

Whatever our age, healthcare is a great asset. But for people at home alone it’s often overlooked. Promoting good health not only helps people remain independent longer, it’s also a practical happiness enhancer.

Promote Happiness with Pets and Choices

Though elderly people may find decision-making more challenging, it remains an important aspect of independence. Through good intentions, people sometimes have their decision-making taken away from them. But wherever possible, we all need to be encouraged to have control over some parts of our life. Which is why pets are so fabulous. Institutions may frown, but sharing life with a dog, cat, or bird brings much comfort and happiness. You can never underestimate the soul-nourishing effects of care.

Celebrate the Happiness of Good Food

Eating is such a basic pleasure in life, isn’t it? Yet, appallingly, many frail elderly folk are denied the opportunity to enjoy simple fresh food. Life always feels more civilized when we are able to eat well. So we need to consider the happiness factor of foodstuffs as an ongoing priority.

Lending a Hand Boosts Happiness Too

Many homes are too big to manage as we age. So downsizing to something comfortable can be a great relief. Even so, cleaning and upkeep often calls for a happy helping hand, to maintain comfort and ensure everything is safe and working.

 

This is a massive topic, isn’t it? But I feel compelled to raise it because I know it’s such a crucial issue. I believe our communities’ low regard for the contribution of older people is at the root of many problems and denies a lot of happiness we could all enjoy. Old age is not wrong, or a problem, except when society implies it by failing to provide for the needs ageing brings.

Happiness in life, should never be restricted to some magical age. Far from it. A culture of respecting the elderly and celebrating the life we share encourages happiness for everyone. Better yet, making room for all ages also feeds our self-respect.  Grasping the truth of life’s enduring cycles not only helps to promote happiness, it also makes your own life a more welcoming place.

Can Happiness And Chaos Coexist?

What’s Your Family Like?

Happiness And Why It’s Hard To Have

Feegs
  1. Feegs says:

    Yes, she is a lovely woman.

  2. Noelle says:

    What a beautiful photo!