Have you ever wondered if there are ways that you can make your bond with elderly more meaningful? If not, well, you’re at the right place. You probably hear a lot of people have a hard time connecting with elderly. As a loving adult or caretaker, you may have noticed that getting an elderly to open up or discuss ideas can be challenging for many reasons—impaired sense of hearing and cognitive changes that affect the memory.
Fortunately, there are ways to enrich your relationship with older adults. These tips will expose you to a lot of ways to help you find that common ground to communicate with each other.
Behold, the meaningful and creative ways to strengthen your bond with your elderly loved ones:
Cook and eat meals together
Food is the heart of our culture, and what a better way to cultivate a relationship than involving one of the cornerstones of culture? Across generations, eating together is a great ritual that lets you bond with the elderly. It is when cooking and eating together pops up important conversations and reminiscing of memories.
For seniors, spending mealtimes can be lonesome and challenging at the same time. There were studies that speak about how seniors feel lonely when eating alone and wished they could spend their meals with their families.
So, this is your opportunity to create and share meals with your elderly loved ones so they won’t feel alone. Practice the small things first: breaking bread, making a salad, or cooking the elderly’s favorite food right in front of them. You will be surprised to see and hear your loved ones open up to you, talking about the old days and how they are thankful for the priceless moment you have given them.
Suppose your senior citizen loved one can still walk properly, then take them out for a walk or simply hang out by the park.
Many research has shown that spending a long time around animals, plants, and fresh air can improve health in a lot of ways. It can boost heart health, bone health, energy levels, and improve focus and memory.
Help your elderly loved one navigate nature again. It is your chance to bond and unwind together. You can go for a simple stroll of a picnic with the whole family, watching their grandkids play around.
However, if your senior citizen loved one cannot go out or is prohibited from going out of the house, help them take care of their houseplants or let them help tend the garden.
Let them tell interesting stories
When you visit your elderly loved one, make sure to ask them about the wonderful stories about the past—where were they when a monumental national event took place 50 years ago? What are their favorite meals to cook back then? What was school like before technology dominated the 21st century?
There are so many things to ask about, and these are just some of the many things that may prompt a meaningful conversation. We think it is the one of the best ways to connect with an aging adult, by just being an active listener. Make eye contact, show support by nodding or by asking follow-up questions. If your elderly has trouble communicating their thoughts, then try to be more receptive. One thing to do this is you can pick up an old photo album and ask what happened during those times.
Host family get-togethers
If anything, senior citizens want to cherish the last years of their lives with their loving families. So, make sure to gather your entire family as much as possible. Go on a vacation at your elderly loved one’s home every month if you can.
Get-togethers are joyful for a lot of us, but for dementia patients and caregivers, it can be a stressful occasion, as they may not recognize family members anymore. So, the burden is passed on the caregivers, whose prime responsibility is to help the elders recall their loved ones.
The gatherings should not be extravagant. More often than not, seniors would be fine interacting with a few people that truly matters to them. Socialization is crucial in living a happy, fulfilling life. So, make sure to plan parties and simple games wherein the elders can participate as well. Make them feel belonged and taken care of, and they will surely thank you.