Writing in a journal everyday can be a very therapeutic and creative daily activity that can help your loved one cope with their emotions and even reminisce on special memories. As journaling can be done anywhere, with a simple notebook and pen, your loved one does not need complicated technology that can take a long time to learn. From jotting down reminders to writing about your day, it can be a fun pastime for seniors.
Whether your loved one decides to journal on an app or with old-fashioned pen and paper, there is no wrong or right way to journal.
Psychologies.co.uk outlines how keeping a journal can have many physical, psychological and emotional benefits.
Allows you to be creative
Keeping a journal allows your loved one to doodle across the pages or even stick in pictures and flowers. The pages of a journal do not need to be filled with reminders, any free space in a journal can be used. Here are a few creative prompts you can work on in your journal:
- List 10 things that make you happy.
- What is your favourite book, movie and song of all time? Why?
- Find an old photograph and write about the memories it holds.
If your loved one has limited dexterity and can’t hold a pen, consider using a journaling app such as Evernote, or even Microsoft Word.
Therapeutic and trustworthy
Writing in a journal can help unleash those toxic feelings and emotions your loved one may have built up. A journal is like a best-friend, it does not judge or interrupt and is available 24 hours a day. Unleashing your emotions onto paper or a journaling app can help you control your emotions and improve your mental health. In turn keeping a healthy mind and reducing stress can positively affect your general health.
However, it is important to let your loved one have complete control over when, how and what they write as this may restrict them from fully expressing themselves.
It can help your loved one understand what they are feeling and can even help seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease organise and manage their daily routine. For example, here are few journal prompts that can help a loved one with dementia exercise their memory and mind:
- Write down what day, month and year it is.
- Describe the weather of that day.
- Write about the certain points of the day that made you feel happy, sad, stressed.
Moving on with life
Seniors often spend time reflecting on the past and it can be easy for them to focus on negative memories and experiences. As your loved one would have dealt with loss, fear and pain, a journal can be that safe place that allows them to release those painful feelings. By detailing these emotions in a journal, they are able to clear their mind for more positive thinking and focus on the present and future. Here are a few prompts that can help your loved one move on from the past:
- List any regrets you have.
- Describe how your experience of adulthood differs from your expectations.
There are no rules to keeping a journal. If there is a memory you loved one wants to cherish forever, then go grab a pen and notebook and start scribbling.
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