Funny how things sometimes happen in a day that seem related and I pay attention to these things, which prompted to put this out here. I ran across a
few articles today regarding the elderly and how they so often begin giving up and accelerate the downward spiral of mental physical and spiritual
health. My Grandmother, rest her soul, suffered from dementia her last years and as many of you know this is a heartbreaking and stressful situation.
Aside from dementia in particular, I wanted to address the attention and and attitude that occur with so many during this process of aging. I wish to
share an observation in hope that others may take something from and maybe make an extra effort for our aging loved ones. What I noticed with my
Grandparents and other friend's relatives, is that at some point we stop or minimize engaging them. Too often I have both heard and seen that elderly
folks want to feel of worth, to their family and friends as well as in general. We tend to start neglecting what they are saying and brushing off
their perspectives and I see it in their faces, as their spirit begins to deflate. People sometimes park these members in front of a tv as if that is
enough to keep them sane. My Grandma always wanted to help and everyone said "no, no, we got it, you just relax."
The benefit of engaging them is not just for mental stimulation(which is highly important)but also just to keep them feeling normal and
participative(of worth). I used to talk with my Grandma about things from her life, and feed her little spoonfuls of issues happening in today's
world. I would involve her in some of my simple tasks around the house. She used to like to have me read to her, or play guitar,which often made her
relax and dose off with a smile. It is important to get them out of the house for some fresh air and sunshine. We did some craft work and listened to
music. She was so sweet and these things made a huge difference in how she entered the day. I saw her mental skills exercised and the gloom
Unfortunately, I moved out of state and since then every visit or communication was one of sadness, for my family did share the same enthusiasm as I
did about this. They recognized the benefit, but they held that "she is just getting old" attitude, and I do not think that is right or fair.
I am starting to see this with my 73 year old father and it tears me up that I am so far away. He is starting to do that slow walk, baby step thing
which I think is representative of giving up in a sense. Yet when I encourage activity, it disappears, and he is normal again. He just got computer
literate and plugging into cyber space has been wonderful, with the exception of windows upgrade and anti-virus issues that make him crazy! haha I
wish I could afford a mac for him, just because of it's user friendliness and smoothness in navigation.
So my point is, before our aging elders get to that stage of giving up, engage them, and I feel it will prolong their health and happiness. Make them
feel at worth each day somehow, ask their advice on things. Encourage them to tell you stories of their day. Yes I know that can be a bit boring,
but it is worth it to see them light up and sometimes a bit entertaining.
Christmas is a time when a lot of older folks pass away it seems, so especially now give them some love and attention.
Peace and Happy Holidays,
edit on 13-12-2013 by speculativeoptimist because: (no reason given)