How to be Supportive of an Elderly Parent

At times an elderly parent may express feelings of worthlessness, defeat and resignation. What can you do? You should encourage your parent to be stimulated mentally, socially and physically, and give him or her a purpose for living. Be  careful, though, not to become controlling and instead be supportive. Does your elderly loved one have challenging activities to do throughout the day? Consider taking trips to interesting places, visiting senior centers, providing challenging games or puzzles, doing volunteer work or church work. Encourage him or her to become involved in arts and crafts, genealogy research, creative writing, or scrapbooking. After careful consideration, have the elderly parent participate in the care of pets such as a dog, a cat or bird; or plants. If a caregiver for an older person cannot be present, you could enroll your loved one in adult day care or sign up for activities at a senior center. Contact family and friends and remind them to call and visit. Interacting with grandchildren helpw the older person feel that he or she has a meaningful existence, and it has a dramatic impact on improving and maintaining health. Come up with a plan for an exercise program such as walking with other elderly neighbors. Proper diet and nutrition are important. Make special meals, provide treats, get takeout or go out to dinner. Make sure your elderly parent has the opportunity to look good and have nice clothing. It might be time to take a trip to the salon for a haircut and styling. Make sure they dine out occasionally or go to a public event.