How to Love Elderly People Without Saying It
It’s not always easy to love someone who is elderly, especially if they have dementia or have difficulty communicating. But it is possible to show them your love without saying the words “I love you.”
Below you will find several ways that you can demonstrate your care and concern for an older person.
Lend Your Ears
Older adults often feel that they don’t get heard, and their feelings do not matter. You can change this by simply listening without judgement or interruption, giving your full attention for the whole conversation. If you have a question about what was just said, wait until there is a break in the dialogue before asking it.
It helps to make eye contact while listening to and maintain a calm demeanour. If they tell sad or difficult stories about their lives, show empathy by contracting your facial muscles like you’re in pain yourself without saying anything. It’s okay if the person has gone on for some time; it means you have listened as they have poured out the details of their life to you.
Plan for Their Last Days
Most older adults want to spend their last days at home with family, but the reality is that for some, this will not be an option. If a person enters hospice care, it is likely to be in the last three months of their life, and it’s often difficult to do anything outside of showing you care in these final weeks or even days.
If you know your loved one has a terminal disease, talk with them about what their final wishes are. For example, do they have views on the casket they would prefer, and what to write on their gravestones.
They might suggest where to get the caskets and a memorial stonemason. Also, not everyone wants an open casket funeral, so you can plan and carry out a private cremation or burial for ashes.
Hang Out Often
You’ll never know how much time you have left with your loved one, so make sure to spend as much of it together as possible. You might not want to ask what they’d like for their birthday or Christmas because then there is the risk that these are the only two days in a year when you’re going to get gifts. Instead, give them a present occasionally, and they will feel special every day.
Volunteer to Accompany During Health Checks
When your loved one is getting older, it can be difficult to manage health checkups independently. You may find that they don’t have the energy or stamina required to make a full day of medical appointments, and you will need to accompany them every time. This might become too much over time so offer up some assistance when you can.
Frame a Family Picture With Your Grandparents on the Wall
For example, if you have a living room with two walls and one side of those two walls are windows that look out onto trees in the backyard, frame the picture so it’s visible from where someone would be sitting while they’re watching TV or reading. This way, when your elderly family members visit you, they can see them often.
Make a Homemade Gift for Them
It can be a card, a drawing, or something else that you know they’d like because it’s sentimental to you. You could also cook a favourite dish from when they were growing up and have your siblings bring over some of the things they used to love as children.
Ask for Advice
Everyone loves to share their opinion, so ask them what they think of a problem you’re having. Of course, the elderly may not always know the answer, but some things are worth asking because they might have an idea or suggestion that can help you out more than you realised.
Help With Chores
It takes time and effort to do laundry, clean the house, put groceries away, and do any other tasks that the elderly might not be able to do for themselves anymore. So offer to help them with these things so they don’t have to feel like a burden or worry about what’s getting done around the house if they’re in good health but can’t complete it independently.
In conclusion, the best way to show your loved ones how much you care is by being there. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a few minutes each day or every single moment; knowing that they have someone who loves and cares will make their final days more comfortable than ever.
Photo by Matthias Zomer from Pexels