Caring for an elderly relative or a close friend who is getting on in years can be a significant undertaking. Even if they do not require around-the-clock care, helping out with some basic day-to-day tasks can also make a real difference to some elderly people.
You don’t need to do anything dramatic or make any grand gestures in order to make a difference. Below are four simple ways that any of us can help a senior citizen in our lives in a meaningful way.
Coach Them On Tech
For those of us young enough to have grown up with access to technology like smartphones and the internet, it is easy to underestimate just what an important and transformative role these can play in supporting people throughout their lives. For example, the timer function in our phones is something that most of us only ever really use when we’re cooking. However, for a senior citizen, that timer can serve as an important medication reminder and can help them to ensure that they aren’t accidentally skipping doses.
Similarly, knowing how to use the internet on even a very basic level will enable someone who is housebound or has problems with mobility to shop and to connect with other people without having to leave their home.
It is, therefore, well worth taking the time to coach a senior citizen on how to use the tech in their home. They don’t need to become power users or to develop an advanced understanding of the underlying technology but being able to use their devices to accomplish everyday tasks can make a huge difference to their quality of life.
Provide Them With Company
Loneliness is a serious problem in modern society and it is something that affects people of all age groups. Prolonged loneliness can have a serious detrimental impact on someone’s psychological health, and ultimately their physical health as well. Anyone who has experienced prolonged loneliness can attest to what a drain it can be and how it can suck all the fun out of life.
Providing someone with just a little bit of your time can make an enormous difference in how they feel and their sense of self-worth. Knowing that other people care about and are invested in us is important for maintaining our own well-being. People who feel neglected are much more susceptible to becoming depressed, something that elderly people, in general, are already more susceptible to.
Offer Them Transport
One of the most common obstacles that the elderly must contend with is their declining mobility. As we get older, many of us will find that we cannot move like we used to. For some people, the effects of this can be dramatic and make it almost impossible for them to get around on their own, while others may simply need a little bit more time to get where they are going.
For elderly people who are struggling with their mobility, an electric wheelchair can sometimes make a big difference. If you give someone an electric wheelchair unit, they can use this to travel around and even reach other forms of transport. For example, most folding units are airline approved and can therefore easily be stowed on an airplane. Getting someone an electric wheelchair can take them from being stuck in their own home to being able to jet around the world as they please.
Most senior citizens are able to get on with their lives with minimal assistance, but many of them could use a helping hand. Providing assistance to a senior citizen in your life doesn’t require a medical or nursing degree, as even the simplest of gestures can make a difference.