In our experience the basic needs of our parents aren’t any different from our own. We are healthier if we eat well, exercise, and get a good night’s sleep. We’re also much happier in the company of friends and family, and saddest when alone. Unfortunately many seniors find themselves in a shrinking social world with only a few friends that they see regularly. If you find that your loved one’s social life is getting smaller, try to find some ways to add time with friends and family to your loved one's regular routine. At Kinto we are big believers in combining important activities like healthy eating and exercise with quality social time whenever possible.
Here are few ideas we have from our community:
- Organize a regular weekly meal with family or friends. If it’s not possible for you to do this yourself every week, see if you can rotate amongst siblings or other friends. Once you set it up, see if you can add an exercise activity like taking a good walk before or after.
- Scan local community resources like the YMCA, places of worship, and exercise clubs, for activities that cater seniors. Offer to go along to the first meetings. If your loved one hasn’t been out much, your loved one may feel quite anxious about meeting new people.
- Encourage your loved one to stay involved or get back into favorite hobbies or interests.
- If your loved one is on their own, be supportive of possible romantic relationships. Our needs for love, companionship, and physical intimacy do not really change as we age!