Compassionate Ways to Help a Senior Heal
While the pain of losing a loved one is not exclusive to our parents and grandparents, those in the 65 and up age range are more likely to lose a spouse with each passing year. And, given that there are more than three times as many widows as there are widowers, there is a good chance that your own mother or grandmother may face her senior years single.
Today’s tips can help you show compassion to a senior facing life alone.
Bring in a companion.
Loneliness can lead to depression, anxiety, and stress, especially in the aftermath of a traumatic loss. Consider bringing in a home care services professional to provide companionship and help with everyday life. Jamhuri Healthcare Services has a staff of caring men and women ready to provide hands-on assistance, elder transportation, or just a listening ear.
Even if your senior loved one has a companion on staff, nothing can replace being with friends and family. Make a point to visit often. If you’re local to Baltimore, perhaps lunch once a week. If you are a long-distance caregiver, try to get together once a month or rotate visitations between yourself and other family members.
Help them get in touch with old friends.
Socializing with friends old and new is another great way to stave off loneliness and isolation after the loss of a spouse or long-term partner. If your loved one is from Baltimore, consider using an online alumni finder, which is a search engine that allows you to plug in their high school name and graduation year to see others who’ve registered. You may even be able to search by a person’s name so that they can forge new relationships with old friends.
Ask if they would like an animal.
Aspen Senior Care explains that seniors experience many benefits from caring for an animal. These include lowered blood pressure, more socialization opportunities, and higher self-esteem. If your loved one is open to the idea, consider helping them find an older dog or cat, which allows them to bypass the puppy (and potty training) stage.
Volunteering is an excellent activity for people of all ages. Not surprisingly, doing good for other people reduces mortality rates and lowers the level of depression. SilverSneakers offers lots of great advice on finding volunteer opportunities, including looking for registered 501(c)(3) charities that have been in operation for at least five years.
While seniors should absolutely take the time to heal and grieve, there is no steadfast rule that dictates how long someone should wait to date after the loss of a spouse. San Clemente Times advice columnist Tom Blake acknowledges that the length of time needed is different for everyone. Remember, it is human nature to want to love and be loved, so encourage your loved one not to shy away from romance if they show signs that they are ready once again.
Take them on a vacation.
A change of scenery can be a great help to seniors who have been serving as a caregiver themselves for many years, which is often the case when losing a spouse as a senior. A week away may help them reset and truly experience rest and relaxation.
The seniors in our lives deserve all the love and compassion we can give in the throes of grief. While your senior friend or family member will be different than others, the above advice, from helping them reconnect with their old classmates to spending a week away, are great starting points to explore.
Are you looking for home care services in Baltimore? Jamhuri Healthcare Services has you covered.
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