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It’s likely that we all have at least one elderly person in our lives. Empowering him or her to live a full, happy life is something that we can all do. After all, we will all be old someday and will want to continue being needed and useful to the world. As we age, it’s too easy to forget some of the things that made us feel special and valid. We can truly help to remind them, at least the elderly who are within our reach. Here are a few ways we all can help. Also, read The Dos and Don’ts of Getting older.
First, there is a great deal of empowerment in independence. Find ways to give the elderly loved ones in your life independence that fits their level of physical and mental health. Maintaining independence is possible with the right plan and tools. Encourage independent tasks, even something small like unpacking groceries or preparing a meal for the family. If you have an elderly parent or grandparent living with you, keeping these types of activities regular will help to promote independence and a sense of usefulness.
Spending quality time with our elderly family members and friends speaks loudly that we care. You could take them to a garden center to pick out some new items for their home. Go shopping for some baking ingredients and equipment and bake a cake together. Ask about hobbies to see if you can help re-encourage these. If he or she used to paint, how about setting up a canvas and some paints? These things can be done if the elderly person lives with you or not.
Giving them your own time is crucial, but it is also important to supplement this with other forms of support. Try to organize a visit by either you or someone else at least once every few days. Depending on the health of the individual, this might be some companion care, which comes from trained professionals. Or it could be that you facilitate a visit from one of their old friends or another relative.
Maintain Living Standards
Empowerment also comes by helping to maintain the same standard of living always enjoyed. Just because they are elderly doesn’t mean they shouldn’t enjoy a clean and comfortable home. Do what you can to help care for their homes. Keeping things clean and tidy will also help to prevent illness and unnecessary accidents. Keep age-related ailments to a minimum by ensuring they won’t get sick or injured from their own environments.
Mobility, Access, Communication
Mobility restrictions and hearing and vision loss are prime examples of things that can steal a sense of empowerment. Are there ways you can help to increase mobility and make sure they still have the ability to speak, read, hear, and see? Make sure that the elderly in your life have access to all parts of their homes or yours if one lives with you. Install a chair lift or an in-house elevator if they are unable to climb stairs. Or you could even move their bedroom to the ground floor, or help to relocate to a one level home. Frequently ask if there are any problems arising with the ability to communicate and be informed. Get the necessary help and tools they need to keep up on vision, hearing, and speech care.
Please add your best tips and plans to help your elderly loved ones to the comments.