As our parents age, a growing sense of disconnect between them and the rest of the family can emerge. Elderly individuals may become less able to participate in activities the rest of the family takes part in due to the aging process or illness.
The generation gap also seems to grow wider with the rapid change in technology of today’s world but that doesn’t have to limit their involvement at all.
Steps can be taken to ensure our loved ones stay connected and involved with the family.
Take a look at a few ways your elderly parents can help stay connected to the rest of the family right here.
Use technology to stay connected
While technology is often a force of division between the elderly and younger generations, it can also be a means of bridging the generation gap. More older people are becoming computer-savvy today than ever before, and specific cell phones and devices tailored to older people can make using technological means of staying connected smoother.
Certain phones come with larger buttons or an ability to speak into the phone instead of dial. Some phones are also made with extra loud speakers with seniors in mind.
If your parent feels ready for a smartphone, certain basic models exist that aren’t too complicated, such as the GreatCall Touch 3. Classes are often offered through adult schools for seniors on getting acquainted with technologies such as Facebook, Skype, iPads and computers.
Use home care instead of a nursing home
Parents usually require assistance as they age, and adult children often find themselves unable to provide the care necessary due to a busy schedule of their own.
Unfortunately, this situation often results in placement of parents in nursing homes, which can further alienate them from their families. An excellent alternative is to utilize at-home care so parents can stay in their own homes.
The services of at-home care include things such as meal preparation, bathing, medication management, personal care, transportation, housekeeping and assistance with ambulation and toileting. Before looking into nursing homes, see what services like Connecting Hearts Home Care are in your area.
Choose senior-friendly family activities
Sometimes family members don’t involve aging parents in fun or social activities because the activities aren’t senior-friendly. Elderly people with heart conditions should not ride roller coasters at amusement parks, for example. A night at the ice skating rink is also most likely out.
Although young people may enjoy these activities, seniors who sit on the sidelines and just watch can feel isolated and left out. Instead of an amusement park, maybe go to the zoo or a play.
Instead of video games, try a board game every now and then. Choosing activities everyone can participate in can help elderly parents stay involved and feel a sense of connection.
All too often, aging parents become disconnected from their families as a result of their decreased ability to participate in activities and increased need for assistance. Also contributing to this disconnect is a lack of familiarity with technologies younger generations use to stay in contact.
Elderly people, however, aren’t destined to be alienated from their families. Steps can be taken to avoid this unfortunate outcome. The utilization of senior-friendly technology and family activities as well as at-home care services can help.
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