Sharing & Caring With Friends

What Can We Do for Seniors?

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Let’s talk for a moment about the “senior citizens” in our society today.  People 65 years of age and older are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, and these days, people are living longer.  I think it’s high time we step up to the plate and help the older people in our lives.

This thought comes to mind oftentimes for me because I lost my Dad (age 87) and Mom (age 82) seven months apart.  For years, my sister and I took care of our elderly Aunt Irene who outlived our parents and died at 95! 

 

momdad

 

auntr

 

The mature adults in our society are oftentimes ignored; or even, forgive me for saying, “forgotten” in our lives.  I truly feel that mature people should be admired, respected and honored. They are a vital part of our world and still have so much to offer with their experiences, wisdom and lifelong lessons.

If we have an elderly relative, neighbor or someone we know, and we want to do our part, there are many simple things we can do to brighten their day.

If they are able to walk and get out of the home, we could:  

  • Promote socialization. They may want to visit a “Senior” center or club with people of like age and interests.   And, it’s never too late for a mature person to start a new hobby or learn something new.
  • Offer to give them a ride.  You may possibly give them a ride to the grocery store, church or to pick up their prescriptions.

Group of mature older people stretching and warming up before exercise

 

For those “mature” folks who cannot get out of the home:

  • Visit with them. Call them ahead of time and ask if you can sit and visit with them.  That will make their day, maybe even their whole week!
  • Listen to their stories. Encourage them to talk about their childhood years, prior jobs, family, and where they used to live.  Seniors have so much to offer and share – so much valued wisdom, experiences and great stories.
  • Pick up the phone and call.  If you can’t visit, call them on the phone just to chat!  I remember I would call my Dad every morning at 8:30 a.m. for several years on the way to work… he would inevitably say (which often wasn’t true) – “this is the only phone call I get all day.”
  • Run Important Errands. Offer to pick up their prescriptions or go to the grocery store for them.

 

Teen Volunteer Reads to the Elderly

 

If you don’t have seniors in your life, can you smile at that older person in a store?  Make eye contact and ask them how they are doing?  Open the door for them as they are entering or exiting a store.

Ignite a conversation with them if you are in line next to a mature person.  Remember, you may be the only kind person who has noticed them all day…. or all week!

And please give some thought to volunteering with and for the elderly.  Several years ago, I was a volunteer assistant/ coordinator for a Christian cancer support group.  There were many older people in our group, and part of my duties included calling and checking on members, sending cards on behalf of the group, and giving rides to a few who could no longer drive.   I enjoyed this very gratifying season in my life.

Some volunteer opportunities to work with the aged:

  • Call your local nursing home and see how you can help! They would probably love for you to come in and sit with residents and read to them.
  • Call the senior centers or facilities in your area, and see if they need volunteers.

For other volunteer opportunities, visit:  http://createthegood.org/campaign/volunteeringwithseniors

And also:  http://www.aging-parents-and-elder-care.com/Pages/Volunteers.html

 

髪を整える笑顔の高齢者

 

What I wouldn’t do for another day with my Dad… and Mom.  They were such a cherished part of my life that has left an empty hole in my heart.

 

Dad

 

Mom

 

Let’s see how we can make a difference in a mature person’s life.   Together, we can spread some sunshine on some of our most valued treasures, our senior citizens.

Blessings!

~Clare

 

Author
Clare is a 57-year-old fun loving Italian-American self-proclaimed “Jersey Girl” who believes, “Life ain’t easy street. Life is one of those crazy little city streets, complete with potholes that could swallow your car.” With one foot planted in fun and the other planted firmly in her Christian faith, Clare enjoys making people laugh while helping them navigate life’s “crazy little city streets”. Clare has raised two girls (now grown young adults) with her husband, Michial, Clare is ready to take on the challenges of making new friends through her blog, Life Ain’t Easy Street. With an aim to entertain while addressing topics important to women, Clare’s focus on the positive power of good stories, good friends, inspiring women, and strong faith will have you looking forward to reading the next post. Clare is a freelance writer who lives a real life in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

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42 Comments

  • Klipdrifters says:

    Some great tips here on how to help. Next week we have joined a charity drive to “Bless a granny or grandpa” Each person is allocated a granny or grandpa to spoil for the morning. Looking forward to it.

    • Clare says:

      What a wonderful idea – thanks for sharing that! Maybe some of the local churches and other organizations can catch on and do something similar! 🙂

  • candy says:

    Thank you for this subject matter. I work with elderly people. It breaks my heart to see how so many are forgotten. Attention, conversation and getting out are so important.

    • Clare says:

      Awwww – what a wonderful thing you do working with the elderly! I applaud you! Yes, it breaks my heart too when some or our mature folks are overlooked or forgotten! Thanks for sharing!

  • Farrah says:

    Thank you so much for this post! It breaks my heart whenever I see senior citizens in the hospital who’ve been all but abandoned by family members. :[ I always try to spend extra time talking with them, listening to their stories, and seeing what I can do to make their stay at least a little bit more pleasant!

    • Clare says:

      You are quite welcome, and it breaks my heart as well seeing elderly lost or forgotten. Thanks so much for trying to just sit and chat with them and listening to their stories – thanks so important! 🙂

  • I am all about practical ways we can make a difference. Thanks for highlighting a very important, but often forgotten people group.

    • Clare says:

      I am a very practical person, too! Yes, I appreciate your commenting that it is an important and often “forgotten group” – sadly! We can all do a little something, I think!

  • Faye says:

    Love this post. It is SO important to visit with and talk to seniors – so many times people (even children of the seniors) get so caught up with their own lives that there is zero interaction. Volunteering is great and can really brighten the days and lives of those we work with.

    • Clare says:

      Right right, we often overlook the elderly right in our back yard, or in our own families! Volunteering is a wonderful way to just do a little something to help! I appreciate your comments!

  • I find that spending time with these individuals always blesses me as much or more than it blesses them! You offer great suggestions. I’ve always encouraged my daughter to include them as well. I don’t ever want her to feel uncomfortable doing so.

    • Clare says:

      Yes, I get so blessed spending time with our mature people out there! I am glad you were encouraged by the suggestions! So great you encourage your own family to help with our older folks out there!

  • Abby says:

    I read last week about several communities that have giving/angel trees- take a name, buy a Christmas gift- for senior citizens. I thought that was the sweetest thing, especially because their wishlists often included things like slippers, electric blankets, and other things that most of us take for granted.

    • Clare says:

      No that’s such a wonderful idea, Abby! A Christmas give for seniors! I love that idea – and wouldn’t it be wonderful if more churches “caught on” to that idea, too! Yes, older people really often need just simple practical things, socks, slippers, eye drops, blank note cards, etc. and etc. – thanks for this!

  • Pam says:

    So important Clare! I really have a heart for the elderly. Sometimes I think I should be working with them. My heart goes out to our senior citizens who are living alone & have no family members to help them. They deserve respect & kindness just as you have said. When I see an elderly person at the grocery store I always want to ask them if they need help. Sometimes they look so lost! If I ever get to retire I will definitely give back by volunteering to help people in need. Thank you for sharing this. It makes me think about my mom & dad & how I wish I lived closer to them. ♥️♥️♥️

    • Clare says:

      Yes, my heart goes out to seniors who may be living alone and/or have no one – so very, very sad that they are often overlooked. I am so glad this brings to mind ways we can “give back” and I know you and your lovely sisters are doing so much for your parents from afar and visit them often – it’s not easy them living so far! Blessings!

  • Great post! In Belgium it’s no different: seniors are also the fastest growing segment of population. And how ‘grand’ of you -and your sister- to have taken care of your Aunt Irene!

    • Clare says:

      Wow – the same all over then???? No, taking care of Aunt Irene was nothing compared to all the joy and love she brought to us and our kids! (She never had kids and spoiled us and showered us with love and trips and fun)! Thanks for sharing!

  • Yes. It breaks my heart to see people who have given so much be so overlooked. How do we not realize that this will be us in a blink of an eye? Thanks for these tips and reminders. So important.

    • Clare says:

      Yes, so true – those that have given so much in their youth now being ignored or overlooked in their elder years. Glad you liked the post and be blessed!

  • Karen Dowd-Hansen says:

    This is so important, Clare! I spend a lot of time with elderly people, and really miss my Dad and Grandparents. Not only do they need our help, but older people are so interesting to talk to, and can give so much good advice. They have lived through so much and can understand what younger people are going through. They are grateful for even a few minutes of your time. Here is the scariest thing – in just a few years, we will be joining the ranks of ‘seniors’. We all hope that there will be someone there for us when the time comes when we need help!

    • Clare says:

      Older people are so interesting and have so much wisdom! They have been through it all and their experience tells it all! Just even the simplest gestures can make an older lonely person smile for a week! Yes, I sure hope someone is there for us too when we “get there”! 🙂

  • Shann Eva says:

    Such great ideas. We often take my kids to visit their Great Granny in a retirement home, and all the other residents love seeing the kids too. We need to do it more often.

    • Clare says:

      So glad you don’t ignore your Great Granny and bring the kids – and yes, I bet all the other residents just love seeing your beautiful boys! Thanks for commenting and stopping in!

  • What a great post about a very important topic! Baby Boomers are retiring in droves and our population is aging rapidly. With medical advances people are living longer, healthier lives so we are blessed to be surrounded by so many senior citizens. As people get older they need more help doing everyday tasks that used to be simple for them to accomplish on their own. If each of us makes a point of helping the seniors in our lives or who cross our paths in small or large ways, we will not only make their lives easier and happier, but our communities will become more beautiful places to live. It’s a win/win!

    • Clare says:

      I know, Denay, if each of us just did a few small things for the aged, it would go a long way. And mature people have so much to offer with their wonderful stories of their lives and adventures, their advice and words of wisdom too! Our communities would be more beautiful if everyone chipped in and did made some small gestures to the almost “forgotten” seniors!

  • Mikki Jo says:

    Thanks so much for this post! There are so many in our local nursing homes who are forgotten.

    • Clare says:

      Yes, yes, our local nursing homes are filled with those that could use a small by a visit from all of us, or someone who can come by and read to them or just sit with them! Thanks for that reminder!

  • Amen is really all I can say. This touched my heart so much. I just lost my mother and she was passionate about this. Thank you for touching on such an important topic.

    • Clare says:

      I am so delighted this post touched your heart. Goodness, it is so difficult to lose our mothers – so sorry for your loss. I still miss my mom every moment of every day and it’s been almost 4 years. I think the aged is an important topic, too!

  • andi says:

    and that starts with those of us who are blessed enough to have our parents still living!

    • Clare says:

      Awwww – I’m sure you spend time with your folks if they are close by, Andi, squeeze them tight – I miss my parents so, so much!

  • Tiffany says:

    Wow! Really great ideas! You are so right – sometimes we think of helping everyone else and forget about this group that still really needs us!

  • Rocio Chavez says:

    I couldn’t agree more. We’re all heading there one day, so it just makes sense to do what we would love for someone to do for us one day!! It’s never too soon to create good karma.

    • Clare says:

      We are all heading there one day, it’s never too soon to help out the elderly – even in just simple small gestures or small ways! Thanks for sharing!

  • jennyb says:

    Some great ideas, Clare. Australia has an ageing population so it’s going to be a bigger problem soon.

    • Clare says:

      Wow – seems like this is a big dilemma worldwide these days as people are living longer. We can all do our part – by helping one elderly person at a time – even if it is just smiling at them or sitting and holding their hand and listening to them talk! They have so much to offer!

  • WONDERFUL POST! Its so true they say the reason people die is they run out of friends, run out money and run out of purpose. The smallest things can make a huge difference taking a few hours out of your week could do so much for someone else. My mom always says “you either get old or die young” so chances are we will all be there.

    • Clare says:

      Thanks, Dia! Yes, the smallest thing – a smile, holding their hand, helping them with their groceries, all these simple gestures matter to the older, aged generation and then need us! I like your mom’s saying! Thanks for sharing!

  • Paula says:

    When I was growing up my mom always made sure she was helping seniors in our area in some of the ways mentioned and we went caroling at the nursing homes. I really enjoyed it. I’ve got to start doing more, thanks for the ideas to get me started!

    • Clare says:

      Wow – what a wonderful example your mother was! And that must have been wonderful! I love that you went caroling in the nursing homes – how sweet! Thanks for sharing!

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