joyful adult daughter greeting happy surprised senior mother in garden

It is completely natural for people to find certain activities more strenuous when they get older, especially if they develop health conditions that affect their mobility. Sadly, many people struggle to deal with the effects that aging has on their mind and body. You should be sympathetic to this and take steps to help your elderly friends and relatives. Here are three ways that you can support older family members:

1. Discuss their care needs 

You should discuss the care needs of your older family members regularly. Some seniors remain in good health and don’t require any care or assistance. That said, many people require some level of support as they get older. For example, you might notice that an elderly relative is finding routine tasks like getting dressed or cooking meals more difficult. Make sure that you involve your older family member in the conversation and encourage them to speak honestly about their needs. If your relative requires support, then discuss the different care options available. Family members may be able to offer assistance with weekly chores tasks like grocery shopping and cleaning. If your older relative needs more intensive support, then it might be time to discuss assisted living options. According to Brightview senior assisted living in Rockville, MD, some of the most common reasons for choosing a senior living community are access to assistance and safety/security. Assisted living communities also offer a fantastic variety of activities and programs to keep older people entertained. 

2. Involve them in family events 

Loneliness is a serious issue among older people. A recent survey found that 40% of seniors regularly feel lonely and isolated. Loneliness has been connected to many health issues including depression and cardiovascular disease. Being social can become more difficult in old age, especially if an elderly person develops health conditions that make it difficult to go out. Encourage your older family members to be more social by getting them involved in family events. Plan regular get-togethers such as family meals, birthday celebrations, day trips, and weekends away. If you have older family members that you cannot see often, then stay in touch using messaging apps or video calls. Show your elderly relatives how to use this technology so they can keep in regular contact with family members and friends. 

3. Encourage them to lead a healthy lifestyle

Older people must adopt healthy habits that will help them maintain good health and wellbeing. Encourage your older family members to lead a healthy lifestyle that involves eating three balanced meals a day, being active, and getting enough sleep. Staying in good health will lower their risk of developing medical issues associated with aging. 

Summary 

Deciding how best to support older family members can be a challenge and you might be unsure how to help. Taking care of older relatives should be a team effort and you can encourage all of your family to get involved. Fortunately, there is plenty you can do to help older family members and show your love and support. 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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