The elderly play an integral part to our society – they have helped us pave the path such that our society is developed and flourishing today. For many of us, our senior citizens have also taught lessons and morals through their experiences.
On the other hand, ageing is a process that all of us have to go through. As such, we ought to set a good example for the younger generation and take care of the elderly, as part of our social responsibility. In the lead up to Grandparent’s Day, this article shares 5 ways to care for the elderly!
- Help Them Stay Active
Staying active and leading a healthy lifestyle is actually paramount in our lives. This can help the eldery to maintain the strength in their muscles and lowers the risk of heart diseases.
Instead of spending time with nothing to do at home, you could ask the elderly you know to go out for a simple walk. This helps to provide respite from our fast-paced society. Doing such activities also entertains them by providing company so they would not feel bored at home, on top of staying relatively fit.
Pro-tip: use going to a new park or running an errand with you as an ‘excuse’!
However, it is also key that the exercises done with the elderly is not too strenuous for them and within their physical abilities. For elderly with medical conditions, it would be better to seek advice from professionals on what activities they are able to withstand. Slow-paced activities that are recommended would be slow walks and stretching.
2. Technological Guidance
It is of no dispute that some seniors are not familiar with the use of technology, especially given the pace it advances at these days. In fact, some youths find the different gadgets and software confusing as well!
We should understand that what may be accessible to us might be confusing for them because of the lack of exposure to such technological advancements. Therefore, one way to show care for the elderly would be to help them whenever they have difficulties with the use of technology.
We have spoken to some elderly and surveyed what they would like to learn. A majority of them answered:
- Ways to send photos to a group chat
- Platforms to watch their entertainment online and the platforms to use
- How to engage in a video call with their loved ones and friends
- Methods to use their mobile phones to scan a SafeEntry QR code, hence relying less on their children to do a group check-in for them
3. Talk to Them
Obvious as this may seem, many people might not actually think much of it. For many elders, even a simple phone call could make their day – be it checking up on them or simply asking about their day’s activities.
Empathising with them, it would be nice to be shown care, so spending time to understand the needs and interests of our elders will likewise make them feel some warmth. Listening to them share about their personal stories is something doable and could mean a lot to them too.
If it is convenient, elderly prefer having video calls instead of phone calls as it is more interactive. After all, they have spent the bulk of their lives engaging in face-to-face interactions, so nothing beats seeing their children/grandchildren over video!
During the times when Singapore was under lockdown, there were many elderly who were isolated. We hope this article is a reminder that your elderly family members or companions are not used to the technological advancements that the younger generation finds intuitive today. They grew up in the days where cell phones were a novelty so be patient with them if they are confused over the interface and guide them through slowly.
4. Help Them Find a Purpose
It is also not a surprise that some elderly people will become unsure of what to do in their daily lives as they retire. Helping them to find a nice cause or something that they themselves enjoy doing would be fun, and would add a lot of purpose to their lives!
Examples of activities that are popular with the elderly are chess, baking, cooking, gardening. Accompanying them in doing these fun activities would bring about more joy as well! They might really appreciate your company as they get to bond with you.
If you do not have the time to spend time with them personally, you might instead consider signing your elderly family member up for classes and activities at the nearby community centre. This helps in allowing them to spend time with other elderly.
These activities that community centres provide include taichi, brisk walking and even karaoke. Each community centre hosts different activities so be sure to check out the one near you or those that interest your elders!
5. Handmade gifts
Instead of buying factory-made products for the elderly, why not personally make something from scratch for them? Some ideas: making a dish for them, writing them a card with sweet messages, or even crafting something for them. It would show your sincerity and thoughtfulness for them, and trust us, they will treat your gift as their greatest treasure!
Even if you think the gift is not the best-looking or the most eye-catching, it will be the thought that counts. The elders would definitely love it as the elderly tend to be more sentimental towards gifts. Seeing the gift also serves as a constant reminder that you care about them.
Conclusion: Care for the elderly around you today!
We hope that these five ideas have motivated and encouraged you to share your love towards the elderly around you today. If you have extra time on your hands, you can spend time at nearby homes to befriend the elderly who do not have younger company, or take part in some bonding activities with them.
If you would like to contribute but do not have the time to do so, we encourage you to contribute by donating or giving towards elderly gifts! Visit our page to co-fund walking sticks to elderly beneficiaries today, where you can simultaneously find other causes to donate to as well! To end off, check out our other article where we spoke to different elderly about life lessons they wish they knew. Stay safe!