Our beloved seniors grew up in a time much different from our own in some ways. They were very independent and weren’t accustomed to asking for help. Instead, they were always the first to offer help in most circumstances. Because of this, they might even have a tough time in their senior years to ask for help when needed. It’s a difficult time for them when they need assistance but can’t bring themselves to ask.
This is a time when you can do a few little things that help them feel special, loved, needed and wanted. These are very essential for the emotional health of all human beings regardless of age, but even more so for seniors when their ability to care for themselves has started to decline. The list below will give you some ideas, and knowing your senior as well as you do, you can probably think of even more!
- Listen to them. They don’t always want you to solve their problems; they usually just want a listening ear. Even if they are reminiscing about the same story you’ve already heard many times, listen attentively anyway. Ask questions about the story and let them fill in more details. It will validate their worth when you listen with interest.
- Never complain when you are doing something to help them. Never let them think they are a burden to you. It will be really hard to reverse your steps and erase their feeling of being a burden to you or the family.
- Call or visit them on a regular basis, and not just when you show up to help them with something like yard care or doing their laundry.
- Volunteer for little special things you can do with them like going out to dinner or going shopping together.
- Keep volunteering for things that might help them or they would enjoy doing. Never assume they are okay and don’t need your help. Don’t be condescending though. You will find a good way to keep volunteering. For example instead of saying “Do you need help to mow the lawn?” say “When I come over to mow the lawn on Saturday let’s have tea together and visit for a few minutes!”
- Discuss news or current events with them. This will help give you clues as to how their memory is doing. Do they appear distracted or lost? Can they not recall the day of the week or what’s been happening locally? Of course, some of these things they would only know if they watch the news.
- Keep your family involved with your senior loved one. Children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren can all give love and hugs which are always appreciated.
- Give your senior the gift of elderly home care for a trial basis. This will help them see just how useful and helpful this service is.
Home care counselors at At Your Service are available to talk with you about your in-home care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. We are an elder care agency providing Elderly Care in Santa Rosa CA.