5 Strategies for Helping an Elderly Loved One Feel Valuable

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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 Tasks

When 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

A professional caregiver can help your loved one maintain a sense of independence while aging in place. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional homecare. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.

2. Get Them Involved with Cooking & Meal Planning

If 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 as he or she gets older. 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.

A home caregiver can help your loved one work in the kitchen safely. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Prescott respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities.

3. Encourage Them to Consider Selling Handicrafts Online

Platforms 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 Histories

Documenting 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

5. Seek Their Input on Family Issues or Events

Another way to make your loved one feel useful is to keep him or her involved in family situations as much as possible. This doesn’t have to be limited to serious matters involving specific family members. Your loved one will likely appreciate being asked for his or her input on things like a birthday celebration, an upcoming wedding, and summer vacation plans. Even getting involved in minor family-related matters could make your loved one feel useful and valued. 

In Prescott, elderly home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner in caregiving for your aging loved one. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (928) 771-0105 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services. 

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