Describe one potential challenge for each of the 10 Tips for Changing Health Behaviors in Older Adults and identify appropriate interventions to assist your client in overcoming it. (make your intervention evidence based not opinion based)
10 Tips for Changing Health Behaviors are given below:
- Motivation– It is obvious that a person must be motivated to change a health behavior. I have found, however, that the first motivation identified by an older adult is not necessarily the one that lights up their eyes with authenticity. Those contemplating a reason for over- coming their sedentary ways may first come up with a politically cor- rect motivation that elicits the approval of others, including the health educator they are working with, rather than one that is heartfelt.
- Modest- No one is ever disappointed if they exceed the goal they have established. And anyone who does not accomplish a desired goal will be disappointed. Nonetheless, it is an uncommon event when an older adult initially declares a goal that is modest enough to elicit the health educator’s confidence that it can be achieved or exceeded. It is more common, for instance, for someone to state a goal of performing an exercising routine every day. It is important, however, to make that daily goal more modest. If a client sets the goal at exercising four times a week and meets or exceeds that goal, motivation will be sustained.
- Measurable- Measurability has several components. How much will the older adult be doing—that is, how many minutes of exercise and on how many days of the week? How intensely will the person be doing it—that is, will they establish a brisk walking pace that is twice the pace of their normal walking? Will they monitor their breath- ing, making sure that they achieve sufficient intensity to produce deep breathing, but not so much intensity that talking while walking becomes difficult? Will they monitor intensity level, building up in the beginning and slowing down near the end?
- Memory- Habits take up a large part of the day. We give little thought to many of the activities that constitute our daily routine, and at the same time we rarely forget them. How do we switch to a new behavior, one that is a bit challenging to adopt, and make it a new habit? The answer is by enhancing our memory in as many ways as possible.
- Positive thoughts-Substitute positive and hopeful thoughts for negative, self-defeating ones. For each negative thought like “I’ve never been able to maintain exercise routines before,” substitute a positive argument like “It may be difficult, but this time I will persist and accomplish my goal.” It may be helpful to record affirmations and place them in conspicuous locations. Other avenues of positive support are to find books or magazines that inspire clients, encourage them to associate with persons who model what they are attempting to accomplish, and have them seek friends or acquaintances who are willing to be supportive of their goal.
- Reinforcement- Most psychologists rely on positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement. If success is achieved at the end of the first week, for instance, encourage clients to treat themselves to a movie or purchase a book. If success is observed at the end of the month, encourage them to buy theater tickets. Reinforcements tend to be more effective when they fall in close proximity to the achieve- ment being rewarded.
- Environmental support- Another term for environmental support is stimulus control. The best example of this applies to weight management. If you want to contribute to weight maintenance or loss, make sure that the client does not keep junk food in the house. Exercisers also have options in this regard. Placing sneakers by the front door is an example of environmental support. Hanging pictures of older adults exercising is another example. Distribute reading materials around the house that can be easily accessed and that boosts motivation levels.
- Stress management- It is the rare person who does not feel stress these days. Not only do we live in a fast-paced society, but we are also likely to contend with the automobile driver who is releasing road rage, cope with a frustrating physical disability, struggle with a personal loss, or encounter countless other hassles and annoyances. Stress is a common barrier to achieving a health goal. If possible, therefore, build into the plan of action a few stress management techniques that can be practiced on a regular basis, preferably daily.
- Social support- This tip is next to last, but definitely not in order of importance. I suggest that some thought be given to social support for every client. For most older adults, social support is desirable; for some, it is essential. It may be a good idea to build social support into the statement of the health goal itself. Ideally, a person has multiple sources of social support. In addition to a health educator providing support, a spouse or friend can help out in some agreed-upon way.
- Problem solve- Finally, chances are good that the client has tried to achieve this exercise goal or a similar one before. It typically takes multiple efforts to achieve a goal. Explore what might have gone wrong in the past, or what might go wrong in the immediate future. Spend a little time identifying likely barriers and ways to overcome them. It may turn out that problems can be solved by addressing some of the previous tips. Or the client may have to develop his or her own additional tip.