My Mom is in a retirement home and so I now have first-hand experience with this type of setting. I’m so very thankful to guest blogger, Lizzie Weakley, for submitting this article. Everyone needs someone. And for those who are nearing the end of their lives, it’s very likely they need us the most.
As we age, we find ourselves considering how to improve the lives of our children and our teenagers, but we often fail to consider how to improve the lives of the elderly people living amongst us. These senior citizens have enriched our own lives as they watched us grow and and now it’s our turn to give back to the elderly.
Here are five ways to make the world a better place for an aging population:
1. Make time for the seniors in your own life.
The first step in giving back to an aging community is to make time for the senior citizens in your own life. Due to our busy day-to-day demands, we often relegate our seniors to the background. Whether they live with us or in a home far away, we need to really take the time to listen and involve ourselves in conversations with our aging loved ones. Start a project with your grandmother or help an elderly neighbor with chores around their house. The simple act of reaching out can brighten a senior’s day.
2. Volunteer at senior centers.
Seniors living in retirement homes often find themselves lacking in visitors and you can change this. Visit your local retirement home and engage the elderly in conversation. You will find people with rich histories and a depth of knowledge on a myriad of topics. While these seniors may be strangers when you first enter the room, you will leave with new friendships already developing.
3. Start a computer learning center.
As technology races forward, we often leave the aging behind in the quest for new knowledge. Starting a computer learning center which focuses on the elderly will help our seniors learn how to interact in today’s society. New technology is often a dividing point between the elderly generations and today’s younger crowd, but by teaching seniors about computers and the internet, you will help them connect with more people—from old friends to relatives to their grandchildren.
4. Obtain a Masters in Aging.
Getting an aging master’s degree will help you understand the issues facing today’s elderly society. You will also consider different means to improve their lives. You will focus on the psychological, physical and sociological factors that affect as well as involve the aging process. This degree creates advocates for the rapidly expanding elderly population.
5. Support elder services.
Maybe you can’t find the time to volunteer or obtain a degree, but you can always still help out the seniors in your community. If you are a great cook, consider providing meals for elder services which help feed the housebound elderly. If you’re a pet groomer, offer your services to seniors on limited income. There is a multitude of ways to support the elder services in your area and it just takes a little creativity to think of ways you can help. If nothing else, donations are always needed and gratefully accepted by nonprofits which work to help the elderly in your area.
Making the world a better place for the elderly doesn’t require a lot of sacrifice on your part. Instead taking steps to help the lives of senior citizens will simply enrich your own life for years to come.
About the Author
My name is Lizzie Weakley and I am a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. I went to college at The Ohio State University where I studied communications. I enjoy the outdoors and long walks in the park with my 3-year-old husky Snowball.
Do you support the elderly in your own special way? Tell us about it so we can be inspired to follow your lead!