As people age, some of the functions that once came so easily may start to diminish, or are lost completely. However, that does not mean seniors cannot continue to lead healthy, active and productive lives, no matter their ability level.
There are myriad ways people can age productively, including eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and physical exercise, and, perhaps one of the most important ways, staying socially connected.
Helping Your Aging Parent Stay Connected
Children of aging parents can help their loved ones continue to live happy and healthy lives by encouraging them to stay active in their communities. Older adults can benefit from social activities, visits from family members, group exercises, and hobbies.
Most areas offer programs for seniors to support them in remaining active and engaged. Senior centers often provide daily, weekly, and monthly gatherings. Local churches and parks and rec programs also hold social meetings and activities for older people.
You may find that discussing your parent’s desires and interests allows you to discover ways for them to feel like they can still contribute to society. Volunteer work, clubs, and regular outings can curb loneliness and promote wellness.
Here are four ideas to keep your loved one engaged as they age.
Have Them Join A Group
Whether it is a book club, knitting circle, a politically driven discussion group or a group of foodies trying the latest restaurant, getting together with other people who share similar interests gives seniors a regular social outlet.
Senior centers, libraries, Lion’s Clubs, YMCAs, and recreation centers usually post calendars of events and group outings. Trying out different groups and meetings can be a great way for seniors to uncover new hobbies and stay connected to their community.
Encourage Them To Volunteer
For mobile seniors, volunteering their time benefits both them and others. Sharing knowledge on favorite subjects or putting their hands to work in a local soup kitchen are positive options. Animal lovers can volunteer at a local shelter caring for cats and dogs. Some schools also offer volunteer opportunities.
Discuss Fostering Or Adopting A Pet
Seniors who have the ability may consider fostering or adopting a pet as a way to remain engaged. Not only will a pet help abate loneliness that many seniors are prone to, but pets decrease stress, promote a regular exercise routine, and can be a great ice breaker when developing new relationships.
Explore Different Ways To Engage With Others
Social media abounds in today’s day and age, and while it can get a bad reputation, Facebook is a great option for non-mobile seniors. Online groups and discussion boards can keep seniors involved in their communities. Social platforms allow them to share messages and photos with friends and family far away.
If mobility is not a challenge, planning regular trips or visits with loved ones can be encouraging and something to look forward to. Babysitting grandkids, coffee dates with friends, or movie outings are wonderful options to nurture relationships and strengthen communities. Having connections keep depression and loneliness at bay.
Learn More About Productive Aging For Your Loved One
Supporting your aging parents in staying connected is fundamental.
At Georgetown Home Care, we offer a variety of resources to encourage productive aging within the community.
Learn more about productive aging in these resources: