When seniors become stuck at home because of their age or physical limitations, it is easy for them to become bored and lonely. If you have a friend or a loved one who is cooped up inside this winter, you can help. Lift their spirits and provide some much-needed company by bringing the fun to their home. Taking time and visiting seniors can beat their winter blues.
Here are a few senior care tips to come up with a fun activity you can enjoy with a senior loved one this winter.
1. Ask Them About What They Enjoy
Don’t just assume your elderly friend or family member is eager to knit or play backgammon. Talk to them about their life, what they used to do. Ask about the activities and sports they enjoyed in their youth. Find out about what interests them today. While many of the activities they used to do may very well not be possible now, it’s a good conversation starter.
Based on your conversation, brainstorm some ideas of fun things you can do together. For example, if they were an avid basketball player, they may enjoy having you over to watch professional basketball games with them. If they love to bake, get together to make and decorate cookies. Get a feel for what they would enjoy most before you decide on an activity.
Doing something that would actually interest and engage your senior friend or loved one has psychological and cognitive benefits. Much research has shown that those that remain mentally active maintain their senses longer than those who are mentally sedentary.
2. Let Them Do The Teaching
In your conversations, you may find that your senior loves to play a certain card or board game. They may also enjoy making handcrafted items. If one of their passions is something you don’t know how to do, ask them to teach you! Let them guide you outside your comfort zone. It can be a growing experience for you and fulfilling experience for them.
If they are into knitting, crocheting, or sewing, request that they show you a thing or two. If your senior loves to cook, find out their favorite dish and bring the ingredients for you both to cook together. Even talking about your own issues in life and asking for their advice is a way to get seniors involved. Feeling useful and needed is a great way to cheer someone up and boost their confidence and sense of purpose.
3. Arrange Family “Socials” in the Home
Seniors, especially those who are widowed, may feel lonely much of the time. However, family members sometimes feel awkward visiting their elderly aunt or grandparent because they don’t know what to do or say. As a result, they avoid them and lose out on so much of what that senior relative has to offer.
Ask your senior loved one if there is any family around that they would like to see, and get their contact numbers. Be proactive and invite these relatives over for a small get-together for coffee, lunch, or even just snacks. It may be easier for some members of the family to get together when they are in a group setting, rather than one-on-one.
Depression and loneliness in the elderly is an all-too-common issue that is often overlooked by friends and family members. You can do a world of good in the life of a lonely senior simply by giving them your time.
If you need a little (or a lot) of support caring for an elderly individual in your life, a home health aide from David York Agency can provide the high-quality, personalized care to help seniors through the challenges they face in the lonely winter months.
For more information on David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best. We aim to provide you and your loved one with the assistance you need.