Without proper support, seniors may face a wide range of issues including limited mobility, chronic conditions, improper nutrition and feelings of loneliness. For example, older adults can have problems chewing or may take medications which interfere with their appetites. However, research shows lack of companionship may be the biggest challenge. Small gestures, like these simple acts of kindness, can go a long way toward improving a senior’s day.
Ways to Make the World a Better Place for Seniors
(Family Features) By 2050, the senior population (adults age 65 and older) will be more than double that of the world’s youngest citizens, and the number of people living beyond age 80 is expected to triple over the next 30 years.
As the aging population increases, some 11.3 million seniors are living alone, according to the Institute on Aging. In addition, women are twice as likely as older men to live by themselves.
Without proper support, seniors may face a wide range of issues including limited mobility, chronic conditions, improper nutrition and feelings of loneliness. For example, older adults can have problems chewing or may take medications which interfere with their appetites. However, research shows lack of companionship may be the biggest challenge.
In fact, an AARP survey found 1 in 5 adults over the age of 40 were “socially disconnected,” which can impact health. People who reportedly experienced loneliness and isolation had lower mental well-being scores, and those who were dissatisfied with their level of social engagement were more likely to report a decline in cognitive function, as well.
While anyone can benefit from a kind gesture, seniors are some of the most in-need members in many communities. There is likely a wide range of opportunities to enhance the lives of seniors in your area. Numerous programs and agencies exist to help you determine the best way to make a difference.
One example is Ready to Care, an initiative from Home Instead Senior Care that challenges people to complete weekly care missions. Each activity guides members through various ways to give to senior-related causes, learn about the aging crisis and issues impacting seniors, and serve seniors through small actions of kindness.
Most care missions are simple acts, such as opening a door, learning about Alzheimer’s or helping with a chore. Each week, a new mission is delivered to participants’ phones via text message.
Small gestures, like these simple acts of kindness, can go a long way toward improving a senior’s day.
Physical assistance: Most seniors are eager to retain their independence, but everyday tasks can pose fall risks or require exposure to harsh weather conditions that can be dangerous to older adults.
Social support: Loneliness is common among seniors, especially those who live alone. Show seniors in your area they have a meaningful place in the community and options for companionship.
Practical solutions: For various reasons, some seniors may be unable to complete everyday tasks. Offer a helping hand in their daily routines when possible.
How You Can Help
Consider these simple ways you can help the aging population by taking action and learning about issues impacting seniors:
To find more ways you can care for the seniors in your community, visit imreadytocare.com.SOURCE:
Home Instead Senior Care
From self-expression to self-direction, there are countless ways to age out loud. Some of the most rewarding ways for older adults involve passing on experiences, wisdom and skills to others. Everyone has something to share, and these ideas can help you get started.
Giving to the Next Generation
(Family Features) From self-expression to self-direction, there are countless ways to age out loud. Some of the most rewarding ways for older adults involve passing on experiences, wisdom and skills to others.
Mentor. Use professional or personal experiences to guide a child, young adult or peer. Example: Visit Senior Corps at nationalservice.gov to learn about becoming a foster grandparent.
Volunteer. Put skills to use while giving back to your community. Example: Sign up to collect food or clothing donations, serve meals at a local soup kitchen or help older adults with daily tasks at home, such as paying bills.
Teach. Impart expertise via formal or informal education and tutoring opportunities. Example: Check with local schools that may need reading, math or science tutors.
Speak. Sign up for speaking engagements, paid or unpaid, as well as storytelling events. Example: Open-mic events, often at theaters and libraries, welcome speakers of all ages.
Engage. Visit a senior center or organize a gathering focused on connecting with others. Example: Book clubs attract participants of all ages and encourage the exchange of ideas.
Write. Pen an article, op-ed or even a book to communicate wisdom and lessons learned. Example: Start with something you know the most about, such as a career, hobby or historical event, and submit a column to your local newspaper.
Create. Pick a medium and use art to express yourself and share your perspective. Example: Paint, draw, sculpt, play music, dance, make crafts – whatever suits you.
These ideas and many others can help amplify the voices of older Americans and raise awareness of vital aging issues in communities across the nation. Find more ideas at oam.ACL.gov.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Administration for Community Living
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