Make no mistake about it – the pandemic has been especially hard on seniors. For so many who had already felt isolated, prior to COVID-19, the insistence upon social distancing has only exacerbated their stress and depression. As we enter into year two of the crisis, it’s important that we boost our focus on finding ways to bring some joy back into the lives of the elderly people we know.
Listen and learn.
Too often, we fall into the trap of shutting our elderly loved ones out. It’s not that we intentionally wish to ignore them. Unfortunately, we just sometimes get caught up in the stereotype that seniors aren’t necessarily of sound mind. Put an end to the stigma. Engage in conversations with your elderly loved one and truly listen. Ask them to recount stories from their pasts and get them to remember happier times. Both the respect you show and the attention you give will help to brighten an older person’s day.
“Often, the most important thing we can do to cheer people up is simply listen to them,” believes Carol Bradley Bursack on AgingCare.com, “Asking pertinent questions helps, too. If you can say, ‘Tell me what Uncle Jimmy was like when you two were small,’ you could encourage a wonderful story. You may eventually find that you enjoy tales of the ‘dirty thirties’ or what it was like living on rations during World War II.”
Turn up the music.
This may seem like an odd suggestion. A common stereotype about older adults is that they often find sounds to be “too loud”. However, in this case, we think it’s wise to make music a part of your elderly loved one’s everyday life. According to SeniorDirectory.com, research has shown that few things light up key areas of the brain quite like music.
“Music has been shown to evoke memory, promote attentiveness, and relieve stress, whether it’s listening to calming classical meditations or turning up the volume on throwback hits from the 50s and 60s,” reports the site, “Make music a routine part of your loved one’s day and if you don’t have a CD player, try free apps like Youtube, Spotify, or Pandora to make playlists based on the musical genre or artists your aging parent enjoys.”
Share a meal together.
What is more warm and engaging than sharing a meal with someone? Not only is the nourishment always welcome but meals are regularly occasions that involve good conversations. Don’t let your elderly loved one eat alone. As Julie Davids of Home Care Assistance reminds us, regular socialization can boost a senior’s overall health and emotional well-being.
“Devote specific days and times of the week where you can have a meal with your loved one, which will provide a social gathering with family, and uplift his or her spirit,” she recommends, “Use this bonding time to talk about your loved one’s day and what’s happening with the rest of the family.”
At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we proudly offer a wide variety of mobility solutions that can help bring joy to the lives of the elderly. To learn more about them, please don’t hesitate to call us at 416-267-9800 or email us at [email protected]. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!