The seniors of today are different than the seniors of tomorrow in one notable way: their early years are captured in black and white photos rather than in color. Black-and-white images give a sense of “long ago and far away” to the childhood and young adult years of the elderly in our midst. If we choose to know seniors through their older photographs, the black and white makes it as though the active years of our elders is a mere pastime long gone by. Yet, our elders not only had full, active, rich lives in the black-and-white days of their youth, they have full, active, rich lives even now, in full, living color!
Seniors are neither hollowed nor hallowed shells of their former selves. They still have active hobbies, interests, abilities, a social life, project to plan, and goals to achieve. In this light, while recognizing that aging sometimes comes with some physical limitations that may create gaps in senior’s ability to self-transport or perform some physical tasks, Fairfax home care assistance can often help seniors manage those gaps toward living vibrantly.
Home Care Basics
The best interactive home care for seniors covers all major facets of daily living. Here are some ways to get started:
- Does the person you care for love to cook (and eat!)? Plan the weekly menu together beforehand, and you do the grocery shopping. Return to chop up the ingredients and serve as your senior’s sous chef!
- How about gardening? Your senior might be limited by his ability to bend over on hands and knees to put plants in the ground, but free to join you on an in-person shopping trip to select plants or to make purchases. Bring him outside to sit on a comfortable chair in the sun while you do the physical work of planting. Set him up with equipment to water the plants. You can also create and indoor herb or flower garden, or even set up a waist-level raised bed to manage indoors or outside that doesn’t require as much physical exertion.
- Many seniors always took pride in a clean and straightened home. Ask your senior about the details of the way she kept her home and consider safe and effective ways for her to help. To invite her into the familiar and desirable space of maintaining one’s home allows her to keep pride in managing her possessions and space, especially when you or others come to visit.
- Visiting with others is an important, life-giving part of any one person’s life. If your senior is not able to get out as often as they may have before to shop, attend religious services, socialize, etc. set times to invite friends and family over for a meal or activity together. Assist your senior in planning food to be served and organizing the event. Your goal is to empower the person you serve as much as possible so time to gather with others at home is still maintained as a point of pride.
Fun Project Ideas
Consider also memory-preserving projects. Chances are, there are loose photographs stores away or organized in boxes. Explore whether it might be interesting for the person in your care to create photo albums. As caregiver, you can collate the materials for the project and set up a comfortable workstation. As photos come out to be organized, you’ll likely be regaled with stories behind the images – the people, places, and events that enriched lives.
Also, as with any age, playing together is important. When caring for a senior, board and card games are often fun. You might bring some additional joy in asking about favorite childhood games or those played with a spouse and friends. Play together and invite stories about times the person in your care previously enjoyed the game. Additionally, it can be both fun and comforting to participate in an activity alongside one another, such as reading, watching a show, listening to the radio, doing crosswords, etc.
The Most Important Part
The key to interactive and fun senior care is to do everything possible together. Whether active or passive, people thrive when they feel connected to those around them. Through conversation get to know the person you care for and discover their passions. Find ways to engage those interests in ways that promote happiness and health. Help your senior to participate in as many of their typical daily patterns and pursuits as possible. When you provide care for a senior in his or her home, it’s rarely a matter of doing work for the person. Instead, maintain life at home with the person. Cook, clean, garden, scrapbook, talk, and play together. Help those that you care for have a life lived in real time and vibrant color!
Contact Caring Hands Matter Today
Caring for a senior at home is demanding in many ways. Many families choose to enlist a home care agency for additional support. For more information on providing interactive care for seniors in the comfort and familiarity of home,or how our Fairfax home care services can benefit you and your loved one – please contact Caring Hands Matter online or by calling today.