Ways To Keep Your Elderly Parent Socially Connected

When you were a young parent with one child in kindergarten, one active toddler in tow, and yet another one an infant, sometimes it seemed like the baby’s rattle wasn’t the only thing rattling. Getting involved with other mothers and out with play groups was the only way to keep your sanity intact. Now that the kids are grown and possibly out of the house, the days of arranging play dates is not over. You are now faced with aging parents, and you understand the value of social connection and activity. It is very easy for seniors to succumb to lethargy and depression from the isolation they face from health problems, widowhood, and loneliness. Keeping your senior parent active and socially connected is essential for ongoing physical and mental health. There are many creative ways to keep them healthy and connected.

Community Service

Civic minded seniors with knowledge and wisdom to share can find fulfillment at Experience Corps where giving back to the community not only helps others, but helps them as well. When you teach, you learn. And when you learn, you are keeping your cognitive skills intact and staving off age related degenerative disease.

Keeping Active

Many seniors suffer from conditions such as osteoporosis, hip replacement issues, osteoarthritis and back pain. Sometimes they fear the pain that comes along with exercise. They are afraid of making things worse. Educating them on the importance of exercise and staying active can assuage those fears as they learn that activities such as brisk walking, light yard work or gardening, swimming classes for seniors, and weight bearing exercise can actually help them by strengthening the muscles they need in their stomach, hips, and thighs. By strengthening these muscles, they can actually prevent their conditions from getting worse and even improve them. When they learn that prolonged inactivity or bed rest can be harmful, they will be more likely to give working out a try. There are many programs for seniors at local gyms, Y’s, and Senior Centers. Some seniors will get groups together and do laps around an inside mall and then sit for coffee afterwards. 30 minutes of moderate activity a day can be all that’s needed to get and stay healthy.

Staying In Touch

Many communities offer group activities such as bingo, card games, community theater, shopping excursions. Some elderly parents will resist all efforts to get them out, but it is important to be persistent. If you feel that your elderly parent is depressed, then talking to their doctor might be something you should look into. Depression in the elderly should be taken seriously.

Hobbies

Senior Ark is a portal to a world of ways to survive retirement. You can discover ways to save money or find out about talents you never knew you had.

The most important thing to remember is that staying connected is the key to staying healthy. This is good advice for everyone, but especially critical with the elderly.