Some Tips to Help the Elderly in Your Family or Community

Do you have a grandparent who lives alone? How about a senior center in your neighborhood? We all live amongst someone from an older generation and it is mutually important to have interaction between the ages. Here are some tips to help the elderly in your family or community.

We have to admit, as we age, we aren’t as able to get around like we used to. It may be our low confidence level in cognitive ability keeping us in; our physical health effecting our mobility; or just a decreased energy level that plays a role in getting out and about. Whatever it is—isolation and loneliness can become an issue.

All around us are opportunities to make a difference in the lives of the elderly. From helping with things that may be more difficult for them to do themselves these days to hanging out while they talk about the “good ole days”—there are a ton of possibilities.

Granted, we are busier than before, but even an hour a week is worth the efforts. Not only is time spent contributing to the older generation, but we get something out of it too—it’s a win/win. Here are some tips on ways you can make a difference:

  • Spending time. As mentioned, just hanging out. Sipping sweet tea and playing checkers while they talk about their past is a fine way to spend an afternoon. We can learn so much from just listening to all the wisdom they have stored up and the times and events they have been a part of.
  • Senior Center visit. Some of us may not have elders in our family or they may not be nearby. No worries, you can still contribute to the cause. Visit the local senior center and ask the community organizer for recommendations. Let them know you want to visit those who never or rarely gets visited. The center will definitely be able to connect you with someone! Also, if you are artsy, crafty, musically inclined, have a karaoke machine, particular passion, etc.—work with the community relations representative to add an event utilizing your skills and abilities to the residents.
  • Take them to appointments or run errands. If they no longer drive, offer to drive them or go with them on the bus to their appointments. You can also offer to bring them groceries or pick up stamps on your way over.
  • Doing chores. Yardwork, help with gardening, cutting grass, shoveling snow, etc.
  • Going somewhere. For a senior who no longer drives, it may be a treat for them to get out for a couple of hours. Go to the Botanical Gardens, theatre performance, play or museum—whatever interests them—and grab a meal afterwards.

 

Bonus tip: If you know of elderly who live alone, make sure to stop in after extreme weather conditions. Today’s Challenge—Show an older person in your life that they are loved and that their significance in this world doesn’t decrease based on their abilities. <3v

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Evergreen Park, IL 60805




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