Recent advancements in modern medicine have enabled the population of the U.S. to live longer than ever before. Longer lifespans will naturally allow older family members to be present for the crucial moments in life, like births, weddings, graduations, and holiday gatherings. Despite the perks, aging in place can often be a lonely and confusing experience, even with medical support.
When enduring extended periods of isolation due to grief or medical issues, seniors are increasingly susceptible to depression. To ease the burden of aging for your loved ones, make a concerted effort to include elderly loved ones in day-to-day activities (i.e., a Monday morning errand run) and milestone celebrations alike.
It can be challenging to know how to include the elderly folks in your life since there may be accessibility barriers, such as wheelchair inaccessible social gatherings. Despite these potential hiccups, restoring the sparkle in a senior’s eye is a few acts of kindness away. If you are among the individuals looking for ways to show their elderly loved ones that they care, read on for five suggestions on how to do so.
Schedule regular phone calls
If you cannot connect with your elderly loved ones in person, setting them up with a cell phone is a great way to help them avoid feelings of isolation. Talking on the phone can give your conversations a more personal touch when compared with texting or emailing. Many long-distance grandparents that live far away feel the weight of not seeing their grandchildren regularly. To help alleviate some of that stress, you may want to check out senior-friendly cell phones like these to connect with the elderly folks in your life.
Set aside time for in-person visits
If you are fortunate enough to live near your senior loved ones, setting aside regular time for in-person meetings can do wonders for their mental health. Busy work schedules and demanding lifestyles often make it challenging to find free time for visits. However, you should still try and make regular visits with your elderly family a priority. Try playing games, baking, or doing puzzles to pass the time during your visits.
Express interest in old stories and advice
While you are spending time with your grandparents or elderly neighbors, make a point to ask them questions about the past. Folks who belong to older generations typically have dozens of stories to share regarding growing up, adulthood, and significant events of their time. If you feel like taking your conversations further, you might even consider recording or transcribing the stories you hear to save future generations.
Plan an outing with other family members
One of the best ways to make the eldest family members feel cared for is to gather all their loved ones and spend a day together. Whether you spend a whole day at a museum or you spend a few hours at the park for a picnic, having the entire gang together will bring a sense of joy to your elderly loved ones. If you have a senior loved one utilizing home health care and cannot leave home, try bringing everyone together at their home for a visit.
Begin a new hobby together
Picking up a new hobby is a great way to bond with another person. If you are looking to strengthen the relationship you have with the senior citizens in your life, consider adopting a hobby that they can teach you. You’ll be able to spend more time together, they will be able to pass along some of their knowledge, and you will be able to walk away with a new skill. Win, win, win.
If you are inclined to worry about the mental state of the elderly folks in your life, you can remedy those anxieties by making an effort to show them you care. Whether you find the time for a daily phone call or arrange weekly outings, you and your older loved ones will benefit from a stronger relationship.