Whether due to health problems, physical limitations or loneliness, seniors often need help to lead fulfilling lives. Are you wondering how you can help an older loved one, like a neighbour, grandfather or aunt? Here are six ways you can make their day-to-day life more enjoyable.
1. Offer your presence and emotional support. Older adults often face social isolation. Take the time to visit your elderly loved one regularly, talking to them and spending quality time together. Listen carefully to their concerns, memories and stories. Your presence can have a considerable positive impact on their well-being.
2. Help with household chores. With age, household chores can become more difficult. Offer to help your elderly friend or relative with tasks, such as laundry, washing the floors and doing the dishes. You could also consider hiring a housekeeper to relieve your elderly loved one of their daily responsibilities.
3. Facilitate access to medical care. The elderly must often attend medical appointments and follow-ups. If necessary, help your older loved one by scheduling their appointments, accompanying them to consultations and taking notes to ensure they understand medical recommendations. Avoid infantilizing them by constantly checking that they’re taking their medication correctly.
4. Encourage physical and mental activity. Physical exercise plays a crucial role in maintaining health and mobility as you age. Encourage your elderly loved one to stay active by taking walks with them or suggesting they join an exercise or activity group suited to their physical abilities. You can also encourage them to stimulate their mind by suggesting interesting games or reading.
5. Encourage social interaction. Socialization is crucial to the emotional well-being of older people. Help your elderly friend or relative stay in touch with others by encouraging them to take part in community activities or join leisure groups. Suggest that they invite friends or family over to spend quality time together.
6. Ensure safety at home. Safety is paramount for older adults. Regularly check on your loved one’s living environment to be sure it’s safe. For example, ensure their smoke detectors are in good working order and install grab rails to reduce the risk of falls. You can also consider using technology like personal alarms or surveillance systems to give them extra peace of mind.
You must be patient, committed and attentive when caring for an elderly relative. Providing them with your loving presence, practical assistance and emotional support can greatly enhance their quality of life.