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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 subside.
DON"T UNDERESTIMATE THE ELDERLY they might just kick your ass for it!