How to help your oldies enjoy their time

It is fascinating to see that our oldies, who used to take care of themselves, especially us – when we visit them, can no longer run around due to old age.

At a point in everyone’s life, that thought will hit him/her with the reality that, one day, he/she will grow to become like the oldies – after all, no one prays to die untimely.

However, this period could be frustrating for anyone – preoccupied with the thought of how to cater for his/her old parents, but to avoid frustration from setting in, we have decided to help you with tips on how you can maximise their old ages.

What the old age is all about

The bible says, “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life”. Proverbs 16:31, NIV.

It is at this time that people start to dwindle in their thought process capacity: the older one gets, the softer perspective he/she has about life. As a matter of fact, the older one gets; the weaker he/she becomes and the more tendency to behave like babies.

This is why Sarah Johnson in her article, How can we build a better society for old people? Live discussion said, “Society is failing to value and harness older people’s skills, knowledge and experience, a Guardian survey has revealed. Some 92% of the 1,250 respondents to the ageing population research believe that older adults’ contribution to society is not recognised”[1].

In a nutshell, old age is (supposedly) a prime time of wisdom, but (sadly) that is not so for many people. Hence, the saying that ‘grey hair is not wisdom’.

Notwithstanding, old age could be fascinating for us while taking care of our oldies.

Old age could be a time for loneliness for oldies, proper management is required for maximisation

Many young people might not want to associate with their grandparents owing to their lack of acquaintances, impatient and/or intolerance, among others.

However, to help the oldies maximise their old age, Forbes provides some tips – as stated below:

1.  Maintain frequent contact.  Even if you’re used to calling Mom or Dad on a monthly basis or less, it’s time to increase the frequency. If they’ve hit a milestone birthday, lost a spouse or other important person, or can’t drive any longer, they need more contact. You don’t need any special reason. Just make it a regular thing and call often. My husband calls his 90 year old mom, Alice every day. She’s independent and gets out a lot, but she still needs to hear his voice.

2.  Visit in person at regular intervals. Not only is it better than a call because you can see what is going on, it is best for the senior to see you, get a hug from you or feel the benefit of your physical presence. If distance and time make this a challenge, consider using Skype (TM), or other video to make contact a visible event. If your aging parent is difficult and this is not enjoyable for you, keep it brief, but make it regular.

3.  Check out community resources for elders where your parent lives. Most urban and suburban areas have senior centers with good opportunities to connect and make friends. Entertainment and social games such as bingo are offered. If your aging parent was never a “joiner”, you can at least encourage him or her to give it a try. You can accompany your loved one to an event for seniors, arrange transportation or otherwise facilitate the process. Getting started in making connections with some support may turn a shy and lonely elder into a happier one.

4.  Take your aging parent to events s/he may enjoy. Concerts, theater, community festivals, comedy, and other social activities are best enjoyed with company. If your parent has you to go with him, he may have a chance to do things he could never do alone. Start with things your parent has liked in the past, locate some – doing your online research and offer to get tickets and arrange transportation.

5.  Ask your aging parent questions about such things as lottery entries and contests. Some elders become quite addicted to entering things like these and can’t tell a legitimate lotto game from a ripoff scheme. If you are available in person, check the mail and the contest entry forms. Look for phony offers of “prizes” or letters saying “you’ve won!”. When there are strings attached, such as having to pay fees to get winnings, it is not legitimate.

6.  For distance caregivers, consider hiring a geriatric care manager to check in on your aging parent at regular intervals. You don’t have to have a housebound elder to use a geriatric care manager. These professionals are often nurses or social workers, experienced in matching the elder’s needs to community resources for improved socialization. They can find the activities, work out the logistics and go with the elder in your place if you are far away.

7.  Consider teaching your elder to use technology to maintain connections. A computer with a camera is a bridge to anyone in the family. Even an aging parent who has never touched a computer before can learn if willing. Alice learned to use the internet at age 86 to pay her bills. Now, she’s on it every day. If she can’t find something she wants, she uses Google. It has opened a world to her. If you’re not good at teaching, perhaps a kind grandchild will do the job or you can get grandma to attend a first timer’s computer class. From our experience the effort is so worth it![2]

Also, home care services can be arranged for them or you take them to, qualitative, adults home – where you pay to keep them in company with other old people, and in the care of professionals.

You can, then, be paying them visits – once in a while.

[1] Sarah, Johnson, How Can We Build a Better Society for Old People? Live Discussion.

[2] Forbes, 7 Tips to Help Beat Your Aging Parent’s Loneliness.

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