The elderly is the stage of life rich in experiences and wisdom. It is when humans can take a respite from the busy schedules of working and parenting finally. As a popular belief goes, the elderly is a new childhood. Unfortunately, not many aged people are blessed to receive the care and love they expect.
Statistics reveal that:
- In India, 15 million senior citizens live alone, of which 75% are women.
- The ratio of elderly in India with no one to take care of them in their house is 1:7.
Many elderly go through silent depression for various reasons. Factors such as lack of caretakers, people that spend quality time, age-related health troubles, loss of life partner, limited social life can impact their mental well-being.
Not many elderly speak out about their problems with a notion, not to trouble others. However, one should take the responsibility of caring for their emotional well-being and make a difference in their lives.
To uplift the spirits of the elderly that need emotional support, you need not be a full-time caregiver. A little compassion, kindness, and offering a helping hand as and when possible is one of the tacit things to help the elderly at home.
Whether you are looking for how to help the elderly at home or committed to helping the elderly in their homes, here are simple yet change bringing tips that will work.
#1: Offer help even if it’s small
Your neighbouring grandpa might be living alone, and he may not be familiar with the technology. Spend a weekend evening with him and guide how to pay bills or shop for things online. Assist him with understanding how technology is a 24×7 caretaker that is just a click away.
Likewise, help the neighbouring elderly mow their lawn or to get a routine check-up for their pet. Enquire if they need something from the store if you are heading out to one.
Offering help with small things is one of the things to help the elderly at home and alleviate their mental burden.
#2: Spend quality time
You need not disturb your daily schedule to make a difference in the life of the elderly. Spending quality time is one of the fruitful ideas for helping the elderly.
The few minutes in a day you spend with your aged father, mother, grandpa, or grandma – spend with quality. Mute your mobile phones and ignore the notifications.
Listen to what the elderly says with attention. Talk to them wholeheartedly as it can mean a lot to them.
#3: Elders love fun too
Elders love fun. They just don’t express their love for it. Adding a dose of fun to the routine of the elderly can keep age-related depression at bay.
Take them out every once in a while. Watch fun movies along with them at home. Make your children play with them. Gather your friends and relatives for fun weekends at home.
#4: Surprise with gifts
Giving gifts to the elderly is one of the ignored ideas for helping the elderly. Gifts can boost the emotional well-being of the recipient. And elderly is not an exception.
Surprise the elderly at your home or in the community with meaningful gifts. You need not splurge on gifts to surprise them. Make the gifts sensible so that they come to help in their daily lives.
For instance, you could take a subscription to their health apps. Similarly, you may surprise them by gifting a quality walking stick. A warm sweater, a dress in their favourite colour, an organic metabolism-boosting health hamper, or walking shoes make excellent gift choices for the elderly.
#5: Listen to them
Living alone can deprive the company of the elderly. It makes them yearn for people who can listen to them.
The generation of the elderly is the witness to many fascinating aspects that people these days cannot even imagine. By listening to them, we can acquire their precious knowledge and wisdom.
Patient listeners can help alleviate depression in people. And studies confirm it. Thus, listening to the elderly in your home and community is one of the excellent ideas for helping the elderly.
#6: Involve your children
Aging is a natural process that no one can escape. Today’s youth is tomorrow’s elderly. When you help the elderly, you are not just helping them but helping yourselves too.
Your children observe what you do and learn from you. It impacts their thought process, and they will realize the importance of helping the elderly at home.
Thus, teach the necessity and involve your children when you lend a helping hand to your elders.
#7: Teach them something new
Learning new things keeps the brain healthy. It is an excellent way to delay age-related issues such as depression and Alzheimer’s.
Hence, teach something new to the elderly at home. If they love music, enrol them in guitar classes. If there is some long-pending hobby they always wanted to pursue, encourage them to go for it.
The instances of the elderly pursuing their passion for learning new and graduating and post graduating from universities are all around us. Learning a new language, art, cooking, enrolling in a new course, etc., can keep their brain active as well as helps them to beat their loneliness.
#8: Take them out
Sitting alone at home can deprives the social life of the elderly. Taking the elderly out is one of the ideas to help the elderly.
Take them out as and when possible, to family gatherings and social get-togethers. If their health permits, you could also give them a fresh breath of air through short drives and long trips.
#9: Ask what they want
Most elderly stay aloof and do not open up about their wants. They could be yearning for simple things like their favourite flavoured ice cream or a visit to their favourite place of worship.
Ask the elderly what they want. Try to fulfil their requests to being cheer on to their face.
#10: Volunteer at elderly care centres
Create awareness about the necessity to help the elderly. Offer your services at elderly care centres. It is one of the simplest things you can do without spending money to help the elderly.
#11: Donate and support the non-profits
Elderly need care in many aspects. To meet the medical, dietary, emotional, and physical support needs, elderly home care centres need financial support.
Offer your donations to elderly home care centres and non-profits that are committed to such causes.
Next time, maybe you can cut down your birthday party expenses by half and donate the other half to the elderly homes.
Anniversaries, birthdays, special occasions, festivals, new year – there are many occasions in a year that you can use to make your donations.
Besides, who is stopping you from becoming a monthly donor and donning a superhuman cape?
Let’s join hands and create awareness about helping the elderly.
At Cloudely, we care. To help the needy. To bring a change in the world we live in.
Through our non-profit Sri Mathrutva, we have helped thousands of children suffering from Thalassemia and the elderly in care homes. Please learn more about us at www.srimathrutva.org and support our cause. All donations you make to Sri Mathrutva are tax exempted.
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