Mobility limitations, fewer opportunities to socialize, and life changes that might include losing spouses, having grown children move away, and retiring are just some reasons seniors may no longer feel like they have a clear purpose. If you have an older loved one you routinely provide care for who is showing signs of not feeling useful, here are five ways you can remedy this situation.
1. Let Them Help with Household TasksWhen caring for an aging adult, it’s easy to get into the habit of doing everything for him or her. While there are times when it makes sense to do this, look for ways your loved one can safely and effectively lend a hand with things that need to be done around the house so he or she feels productive and needed. These tasks might include:
- Folding laundry
- Doing light cleaning
- Clipping coupons
- Making grocery lists
- Organizing drawers
2. Get Them Involved with Cooking & Meal PlanningIf your loved one has always enjoyed cooking, baking, and other aspects of meal preparation and planning, find ways for him or her to keep doing these things. For instance, you could plan home-prepared meals together by making a weekly menu. Your loved one may also feel useful if he or she bakes goods for a local charity, shows grandchildren how to make some of his or her favorite recipes, or grows fresh ingredients for meals in a vegetable or herb garden. If your loved one needs help planning and preparing nutritious meals, a professional caregiver is the perfect solution. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable homecare. Families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.
3. Encourage Them to Consider Selling Handicrafts OnlinePlatforms like eBay can be used by adults of all ages to sell handicrafts and other items. This is a process that could help your loved one feel useful if the money made from what’s sold is used for meaningful purposes, like making home upgrades or donating to a favorite charity.
4. Help Them Document Their Personal HistoriesDocumenting personal histories can be useful because it’s a way for seniors to tell their own stories for future generations. It’s also a process that can be done gradually and involve an assortment of activities, some of which can provide an incentive for meaningful engagement while you provide care. Options include, but certainly aren’t limited to:
- Using Story of My Life books
- Preparing personalized scrapbooks or photo albums
- Asking your loved one to tell family stories you record digitally