Sometimes as you get older, you can start to lose your confidence in the way you deal with life. It can be especially difficult if you have limited mobility, or you are on your own. Elderly relatives might not always be open about the fact that they are lonely or not as confident as they used to be, so sometimes you need to help them by giving them a reason to be more independent.
Keep Them Eating Healthily
One of the big problems for the elderly is getting out to the store to get food and other household items. It means that when they do go out for food, they might decide to get ready meals instead of cooking because it’s easier and lighter to carry home. To try and stop this from happening, you might want to help them organize deliveries at home from the store. Many large grocery stores now offer this service, and it means your relative can still have fresh fruit and vegetables. It can also be a good idea to go around and eat with them once a week or so. It will encourage them to cook and keep them from becoming reliant of fast food or pre-prepared foods.
Encourage a Hobby
For some elderly people, especially those that live alone, there can be a lot of free time when they aren’t doing much around their home. It can lead to loneliness and depression in some cases, and also means that they can simply sleep all day without any stimulation. To help with this, why not try to get them interested in a hobby? Ideally, you want them to start going out to the local center for games and meeting new people, but if that isn’t possible, then you want them to have something to do at home. Find out what they like to do, like puzzles or maybe painting, and then get them the equipment they need to start. Buy them some puzzles or get other family members to donate some to you.
Get Them a Pet
Because loneliness can be a big problem for the elderly, you can help them be suggesting they get a pet. Pets have long been used to help people with depression and those living alone. It can give them something to care for, and also another presence in the house that they can interact with. You can choose to get them a cat, or if you think they can handle the walking, you can get them a puppy. You can show them how to choose a diet for puppies if they haven’t had a dog before, and they will enjoy watching it play.
If you have an elderly relative that you think could use some help to be more independent, then try also to involve other members of the family as well. You can all play an important part in helping your loved ones feel wanted and less alone in the future.
Photo by Damir Bosnjak
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