As people get older, many begin to feel like their families and peers no longer need them. Seniors are more prone to feeling this way, especially when they live away from family, leading to many succumbing to depression.
If you have a senior in your life and you want them to know they’re needed, acknowledged, and loved, here are things you can do:
Let them Help Out
Everyone wants to be useful, especially elderly individuals since the feeling of being ‘useful’ is a reinforcement that they are still needed. That’s why if you’re caring for a senior, ensure you let them help out around the house to let them know they’re useful and needed. You can do this by asking for their assistance with tasks appropriate for their abilities and safe for their health.
When you’re doing projects like adding wall cabinets or plants to your garden, let them help out by picking colors or materials or choosing pots for the plants. You can also let them fold laundry, clip coupons, create grocery lists, or ask them to update you about the latest news.
Involve Them in Decision Making
If you make every decision at home, this could adversely affect your older loved one’s mental health. It may let them feel incapable of handling everyday situations, like choosing what to cook for the day or when to visit the hospital for their annual checkups. Leaving them out of the decision-making process will not only make them feel useless, but it can also lead to more severe consequences such as your loved one developing depression.
That’s why keep them informed when you’re making significant household or healthcare decisions and ask for their opinion about it.
Ask Them What They Want to Do
Asking them what they want to do, whether choosing a restaurant to dine at for dinner or visiting the church during Sundays, provides seniors with a sense of worth and independence. It promotes a sense of achievement that results in improved well-being. So, the next time you plan on going out with the family, ask your grandparents or elderly parents what they want to do.
Let them Handle Small Responsibilities
Most elderly individuals were taught skills that are currently ‘dying out’ due to today’s more disposable culture. Whether your senior knows how to cook from scratch or do basic woodworking and repairing, give them small responsibilities revolving around these things around the house. For instance, if your senior likes to cook, let them handle cooking dinner for everyone in the household.
Involve Them in Their Grand Children’s Lives
Besides their kids, many seniors treasure their grandchildren. Depriving them of their grandkids can result in loneliness or depression, shortening their lifespans. That’s why it’s best to help your aging seniors stay connected with their grandchildren. In every milestone event of their grandchildren, such as birthdays and graduations, it’s wise to involve seniors.
Allow them to Have Fun
Allow your seniors to take up a new hobby, go on road trips, or hang out with friends, but make sure you closely supervise or check them to ensure safety. Doing this can help boost their quality of life and self-esteem, making them feel happier, privileged, and efficient.
While an older individual’s physical appearance may seem to change, their hearts and desire stay the same as anyone else’s. Unfortunately, most fall into a pitfall of depression, isolation, and loneliness due to the aforementioned physical changes. Fortunately, following the methods mentioned can help you make the senior in your life feel needed, efficient, and loved.