Boredom, loneliness, and inactivity can reduce your aging parent’s quality of life. Their ability to live a well-rounded lifestyle that encompasses physical activity and social interaction diminishes with age as they lose the ability to be able to get around independently. Unfortunately, this change in their lives can lead to depression, memory loss, and a weakened physical state. If mom and dad are living at home, they require regular physical, mental, and emotional stimulation to thrive. How can you make this happen? Here are some tips.
A visit from family is always welcome for the elderly. It gives them the opportunity to socialize with those they love. Try to find the time in your day to visit your aging parents. If you can’t always be there, see if there are other family members that can take turns checking in on them.
Home Health Aides
If your parents still live in their homes but have a hard time tending to some of the basics around the house (or with themselves), hiring a home health aide on a full or part-time basis can improve their quality of life. Not only do they have the convenience of an experienced professional to help them with personal care and household chores, but they also have someone who’s constantly there for them to talk to and get to know which can combat their loneliness.
When mobility is an issue or your parents are unable to drive, shopping, a common practice in any lifestyle, is difficult. You can give your parents some independence by teaching them how to shop for themselves online. You can advise them on how to buy prescription glasses online, go grocery shopping, and even some retail therapy like buying things for themselves, friends, and family members.
The internet has opened up a whole new concept of connectivity. Social media can be very instrumental in helping the elderly stay engaged with friends and family across the globe. Take the time to help your parents set up a social media account and show them how to use it to share stories, keep up with the lives of others, and stay connected with today’s events. As most seniors aren’t very tech-savvy, sticking to one social media account is recommended.
Lots of communities have services and programs that seniors can take advantage of. There are food delivery services that will deliver fresh, hot, meals to your parent’s house. There are transportation services that transport seniors to shopping malls, doctor’s appointments, and even mini trips like to a nearby casino or movie theater. You may also be able to find senior clubs where the elderly congregate a few times a week to meet up with friends, play bingo, and a wealth of other activities that keep the mind stimulated and the heart happy.
Hobbies (Old and New)
For elderly parents who pretty much like to keep to themselves, there are still things they can do at home that will keep them occupied and engaged. Allowing them to indulge in old hobbies or learn new ones, is a great example. Your mom might enjoy things like knitting, sewing, or gardening, while your father might like building model cars, trains, or painting. Such activities help to stimulate their minds and give them purpose.
A dog or cat in the home can be a great companion for your aging parents. They offer a form of love and compassion that they might be longing for. As they care for this pet, it also gives their lives a sense of meaning and belonging. Depending on your parent’s health, however, keep in mind that cats are a lot more self-sufficient than dogs who need constant care, grooming, and daily walks.
Getting older comes with a lot of emotional baggage. Your health starts to decline, your friends start passing away, and your entire way of life changes. To avoid memory loss, depression, and a multitude of health complications, it is imperative that you find ways to keep your aging parents happy and safe. The above ideas give them a way to be physically, emotionally, and mentally engaged.