Benefits of Spending More of Your Time with the Elderly
But are you still making an effort to spend time with your elderly family members and reaping the benefits of maintaining those relationships? The answer to that question for so many of us–is no.
With the majority of us focused on the immediate family, the purpose of grandparents and older relatives begins to fade as they become older and less agile, and you become increasingly independent, eager not to burden or accept their help because they are getting older. This disconnection can cause you to lose contact with elderly family members and friends. However, there’s a reason this should be restored and not lost for good. You need the elderly, and they need you more than you might think. The below reasons show you how remaining in contact with seniors can improve yours and their lives for the better.
Company & Companionship
As we age, our friendship group naturally begins to dissipate as you dedicate most of your time to your partner and/or children. Once your children have left home, you may start to feel lonely as your primary purpose in life has now moved on. Although at points we may think we can’t wait for our children, or roommate to move out, the fact is when it happens you are likely to feel lonely.
This is no different for the elderly. They are at a different stage of life to you, but nonetheless, we all get lonely from time to time. Although elderly relatives would most likely never burden you with their loneliness, the truth is they would most likely love it if you visited them more often. As would you, if you were in an elderly home, no longer occupied by work colleagues by day, family by night, and friends on the weekend. Socializing is excellent for anyone and everyone to experience from time to time, the elderly are no different in this respect.
Opting to spend time out of your busy schedule with elderly relatives who most likely don’t have an extensive amount of visitors will make them feel valued and appreciated, and who doesn’t like to feel this way? Whether it’s to enjoy their stories, ask for advice, discuss care arrangements for them at a nursing home such as the one at this site, for example, or participate in a little gossip, you can make your senior relatives feel happier merely by giving a small portion of your time.
As you can imagine, once you’ve happened upon all the stages in life for example; peaking in your career, traveling the world, writing a book, dedicated your life to being a parent, helping charity, building a new home, there is a time when these chapters will eventually end, some may have already been closed.
This is most likely the point your elderly grandparents are getting closer to; their options are limited depending on their financial situation, agility, and mental state. Visiting the elderly can add a bit of spark back into their lives that they may have lost over the years. As they are no longer needed like they once were, spending the time to take an elderly relative out for the day, to the park, shopping or even the beach, can provide them with a sense of fulfillment. Also, being able to interact with the children, will more than likely trigger their protective, nurturing side, giving them some purpose and satisfaction on your visits and days spent together.
The points above are just a few of the effects you spending time with your loved ones can have. Generally making them feel loved, cared for, mentally stimulated and nurturing their wellbeing. Below are the reasons why spending time with seniors is right for you and your family, apart from the feel-good factor of knowing you have provided a bit of happiness and purpose back in their lives as highlighted above.
Gain Perspective On What Matters
Sitting across from relative forces you to slow down or stop what you’re doing to listen, engage, understand and bond. As you slow down and take time to live in the moment rather than worrying about the next thing you need to do, you can begin to redefine what matters, and equally discover when you’re racing to do list thoughts are quietened down, what’s essential in life.
If your visit with the elderly doesn’t have this effect on you, perhaps asking them about what matters to them will. For instance, you’ll rarely find someone close to death wishing they spent more time in the office working themselves to the point of burnout in a corporate job. They would most likely use the wisdom and perspective they now to slow down and spend time on what and who matters, such as real passions and family. When you’re caught up in daily tasks, it’s easy to forget that what you’re doing won’t last forever. When you see and speak to someone who is past the chapters you are living, this might help you better understand what matters to you and help you gain perspective in life.
What It Teaches Your Children
To a degree, children tend to follow suit in taking on the morals and values of their parents. Regarding meeting the elderly regularly, your children may evolve healthy attitudes towards seniors by being far less likely to discriminate against a person’s age and develop social skills and confidence in how to talk and interact with the elderly. As they develop a stronger sense of kindness, compassion, and empathy, this may, in turn, affect how they treat everyone around them and will affect the values they pass on to their own children.
Forget What People Think
Have you ever thought about what you could achieve if you were not pushed down and suppressed by other peoples comments, which fuels your self-doubt about what you’re capable of? The answer is you would most likely be reaching your full potential and doing the things that your dreams are made of. Speaking to someone with 8 decades or so of experience may prevent you from avoiding opportunities, putting off something you really want to do, or being saddened by another person opinions or behavior and help you to understand why it doesn’t do you any favors to care what other people think of you.
We’ve looked at a few of the benefits of spending more time with the elderly. With you both on different parts of the age spectrum and different stages of your life, you can gain words of wisdom and perspective in your own life, as they feel appreciated and valued as you spend time with them.
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