If you have elderly relatives, it can be difficult knowing how best to support them emotionally, so as to keep their spirits up and be there for them when they need you.
If you’re lucky, your elderly relatives are in good health, and are social, positive, energetic, and upbeat.
All too often, however, the elderly can fall prey to depression and other negative mood issues, as a consequence of various factors including ageing itself, chronic health issues, and more.
While you may be able to cover the average care home costs, it can be tricky knowing what to do to help them on a more personal level.
Here are some ways to help your elderly relatives stay positive about life.
Take The Time To Interact With Them Regularly
Perhaps the most direct way you can help an elderly relative stay positive, is simply by giving them your time and attention on a regular basis, and taking the opportunities to connect with them which arise.
Often, as people get older, their social circle shrinks and their lives revolve more around their extended family.
If their extended family aren’t, therefore, very engaged with them, it can significantly compound feelings of isolation and cause hurt feelings.
A daily phone call, a visit each weekend, or whatever else you can manage is sure to be appreciated. If you live nearby, visiting for tea several times a week can be a great thing to do, as well.
If you have the temperament and resources to do so, you may even consider offering to have them move in with you and your partner and kids, so that they’re right at the heart of family life.
Get Them Involved In Social Pastimes With Other Seniors
Humans are naturally social creatures, and although the social lives of elderly people may revolve to a large degree around their families, it is also very good for people of all ages — elderly included — to spend time interacting with friends and peers of their own age.
If you get the sense that your relative is socially isolated, you might take the initiative and research senior social groups, clubs, and organisations that may be suited to their interests, and then have a chat with them to pitch the idea.
If you can convince them to get out and interact more with people of their own age, you’ll likely notice a significant improvement in their mood in a short
Check That They’re Staying Well Fed And Are Getting Enough Exercise
As people age — and particularly if they’re living alone — their appetites might shrink, and they might not get much physical exercise on a regular basis.
But it is, nonetheless, very important for elderly people to get adequate nutrition and also to get sufficient exercise.
If you have any reason to suspect that a relative is no longer feeding him or herself properly, you should keep an eye out, comment when appropriate, and
take tactful steps to intervene if necessary.
You could, for example, cook meals for them and drop them off when you visit, or finances allowing, even hire someone to prepare meals for them.
The same goes for exercise. Invite them for regular walks, and suggest physically active social groups for seniors.
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.