Throughout history, elders have been revered for their life experience, wisdom and connection to forbearers. In today’s fast-paced, “just Google it” world, we don’t always value our seniors, particularly when they become frail.
We still love our family members though, and want to provide the best for them within the confines of our own daily lives. So how do we demonstrate our love and gratitude for all they have done for us, particularly when they live in a senior community and not with us?
Well, the short answer is: the same way we show anyone love. We express it verbally and non-verbally. We do things for them and with them. We sacrifice on their behalf. Here are some specific suggestions.
For a senior who is living away from old friends and family, there is no present like our presence. Every visit we make tells them that at that moment, there is nowhere else we would rather be than with them. Just make sure you’re fully present when you visit.
2. Help Them with Small Tasks
Life is a struggle for some seniors, but you can help ease the burden. Check their mail and make sure their bills are being paid. Pick up around their living quarters if they are unable to do so. Brush their hair or apply moisturizer on their skin. Making their life easier is a sure demonstration of love.
3. Reach Their Heart Through Their Stomach
Does the senior in your life miss particular ethnic or regional food of their early days? Cook them the things that remind them of home that may not be on a meal plan menu. Nothing says love like a home-cooked meal.
4. Get Involved in Their Lives
Listen to your loved one and show interest in their stories and their opinions. Learn about their daily activities and meet their friends. In short, show them you value being a part of their family even if you don’t live with them.
5. Don’t Forget to Tell Them You Love Them
Showing is better than telling, certainly. Visiting, helping, sharing meals, and sharing in their lives are great ways to show someone we love them. But it’s nice to say it too. Saying “I love you” is a great way to end a visit – until your next one real soon.
Nye Health Services offers seven communities in Eastern Nebraska and Wyoming, structured to meet the needs of their residents from independent living to skilled nursing care. A family-owned company with a rich history of connecting with the people they serve, Nye Health Services is open for visits anytime. Call 402.753.1400 to schedule an appointment at locations in Fremont, Lincoln, South Sioux City, Norfolk, or Jackson Hole, or visit NyeHealthServices.com for more information.