5 New Year’s Resolutions for those with a Senior Loved One

All of us know a special senior, and a lot of us know many! Whether those seniors are friends or family, there are steps we can take to improve on relationships we have with them and help to bring them a bit more happiness in the new year.

These are five resolutions to try out to brighten seniors’ lives, and in doing so, we bet it will brighten yours too.

In fact, there is a Buddha quote about just that: “If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path.”

Five Resolutions to Consider if you have a Senior Loved One

Resolution: Engage in Quality Time

Whether your special senior lives in your home, in a senior living community, down the street, or across the country, making time for them is one of the most important things you can do. Engagement plays a huge rule in senior health and actually being there – online, over the phone, or in person – speaks volumes to them. It will enrich their lives and communicate that you care and that they play an important role in your life.

Does your senior loved one value having their hair neat or nails done? Make a resolution to share time at a salon or book a pedicure!

Resolution: Assist with Areas of Importance

Seniors may not always verbalize their wants or needs, but the things that have mattered to them still matter. Try to be insightful about their desires and see how you can help. If your Great Aunt loves to have her hair done or to get pedicures, treat her to a salon visit. The same goes for food preferences or activities. If there is a way you can help, try to do so. A trip to the store to get a special item for them may brighten much more than their day.

Resolution: Stay on Top of Medical Needs

If you feel close enough to the special senior in your life, try to engage with them about their medical needs. Offer to take them to a doctor appointment or to help set one for them, or track future appointments, if they need that. If they reside in a senior living community, schedule or attend their next care meeting to check in on care needs. If the senior is a friend, reach out to a family member of theirs to see if you can assist in any way. As health is such a personal thing, try to be respectful of personal space, but let them know you care are there for them.

Resolution: Listen, Engage, and Practice Empathy

This goes along with spending time, but it is more than just that. Make sure that you connect with the special seniors in your life to see how they are doing, how they are feeling, and what they want and need.  Often, they have emotions that they don’t want to burden on to others, but it’s important they know that those words are not a burden, and they matter.

Try to relate and let them know you hear them and understand, even if you don’t have solutions.

Volunteer with your senior loved one's care community or social club.

Resolution: Connect with their Community

Whether they are living on their own or in a senior living community, there are areas of their world that are deeply important to them from day to day. Some may visit the library, go golfing, have a bridge club, or a crafting group they are involved with. Others may have a close friend they visit with or speak to over the phone often. Find out about these community connections, and see how you can be involved with them. Consider volunteering your time in helping with events and activities within your loved one’s community or circle.

This practice can help you to engage with your senior loved one, and you can also serve as support toward enriching that connection and keeping it strong.

Do you have a resolution related to the well-being or nurturing of a relationship with a senior that we have not covered?

We would love to hear about it in the comments.

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