It is important to stay physically as well as socially active for everyone, regardless of age. In the early years, when one is working or managing home, the routine lifestyle keeps them physically, mentally and socially active. But as one moves towards retirement, their social life takes a back seat for a lot of reasons, which in turn affects their physical wellbeing too. Social isolation impacts health in a negative way, suggests a study published on NCBI. The study also proposes that staying socially inactive can cause depression and lack of confidence in individuals.
Hence, when your parents are entering their senior age, it is not just their physical wellbeing that you need to ensure, but their social liveliness too. Here are some ways in which you can keep your elderly parents happy and engaged at home:
Make them feel useful
Everyone likes the feeling of contributing to a purpose, whether it is outside home or inside. As our parents enter their senior years, out of care we might take away their responsibilities to make them feel stress-free, but the feeling of not being useful to the family rather hits them badly. Hence, a good way to keep parents occupied is by involving them in certain responsibilities. It could be gardening, teaching and tending grand-kids, cooking special meals or anything that makes them feel happy and purposeful.
Stay connected with people
Loneliness is common in seniors and that may lead to depression and memory loss. As family you can try to keep their social life active by making sure that they connect with people regularly. You can plan family reunions, dinners, outings, etc. and can also involve your parents in society clubs, reading clubs, yoga classes, etc. to keep their social life active.
Encouraging your parents to stay fit can not only help them socialize, but can also decrease the risk of illnesses in them. When they go out for walks, yoga sessions or exercising routines, they meet new people and eventually have their own social circle.
Talk to them
Communication is the best way to fight isolation. In your busy and running lives, you might not realize that your stay at home parents might be slowly developing a feeling of loneliness. Hence, it is best to catch a conversation with them whenever possible. Spend time with them after work to hear about their day or catch up with them for your morning tea and breakfast. You can take walks with them and take them on long drives and have a heartfelt conversation. Also from workplaces, you can catch up with them on calls, especially during lunch breaks.
Involve them in a hobby
Another way to engage elderly is by involving them in a hobby they would like. Be it reading, painting, music sessions or cooking, a hobby will not only keep them busy, but will help them prevent memory and brain related health concerns.
To keep an interactive environment at home, you can play board games, carom or other games at home to rejuvenate everyone’s mood. There are a lot of brain stimulating games that help in sharpening memory skills and stay mentally active.
Parents in their senior years are in a vulnerable state and might fall ill if not treated with care. Hence as family, a slight positive change in their environment and your attitude towards them can do wonders to their health.
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