There simply aren’t enough days to celebrate the elders in our community. So, you might not want to miss out on International Elder Appreciation Day. Although this day isn’t often commercialized, nor are there many ways to celebrate with the community, it is still a great day to stop and let the elders in your life know how much you appreciate and care for them. This day is a great time to not only celebrate what they have done in life but improve how you take care of them in their golden years. These ten tips should leave your loved ones feeling admired while also improving their lives on a budget.
1. Quality Time
One of the best ways to celebrate this holiday is to merely spend your time with the elders in your life. More often than not, elders in the community and the family tend to end up neglected. Even if it isn’t on purpose, people often are busy with their own lives and forget to take time out of their day to visit with their elders. So, for International Elder Appreciation Day, you might clear your schedule and visit with the elders in your family or neighborhood. Simply hanging out with them for a few hours can make a huge difference in their lives. You might also consider bringing children along if you have them, as child and elder interactions can be imperative to the health of both. Don’t just make the holiday your visitation time. Instead, check your calendar and pencil in a visit at least once a week. This can make a huge difference in the life of an elder and won’t cost you anything but time.
2. Photo Books
Memories are one of the best things to share with the elders in our community and family. So, you might consider making a photo book or two in order to celebrate the life they have led. You can usually find great deals on professional quality photo books, especially if you are signed up to receive promotional discounts from one of the many websites that offers these books. Of course, you can also do things the old fashioned way by printing some photos and adding them to a book yourself. Elders will love looking through the pictures and remembering the happy moments. You might also ask them to narrate a few of the stories to add to the book. This will make a great heirloom that generations to come will love. It can also help with memory as the elders in your life begin to forget details from their pasts.
3. Work to Create a Better Quality of Life
Aging can be very hard on a person’s physical and mental health. However, there are many things you can do to improve on the health and wellness of the elderly person in your life. One way is to make sure they are getting proper nutrition, including vitamins and water. Another thing is to make sure they are getting enough exercise. This can easily be remedied with gentle exercises like walks and Tai Chi. You should also take care of the cleanliness of the home, clothing and their overall hygiene. You might also concentrate on mental cognition with puzzles and everyday conversation. There are many things you can do to improve quality of life though, so do some research to suit individual needs and desires.
4. Research Care Facilities
There might come a time when you can no longer care for the elder in your life. Before this happens, you should have a game plan ready to make the transition to assisted care easier for everyone. You should spend quite a bit of time researching care facilities in your budget. Make sure to look at services the facility offers as well as reviews on the facility. You should also take things a step further by talking with the residents of the facility as well as their families. You can even strike up a conversation with the staff to learn more. You don’t have to settle on a full-time care facility either. There are many nurses that will come to the home that can help with assistance when you are no longer able to provide it. After researching, share your findings with the elder in your life to see what thoughts and opinions they have on the matter. Being involved in the decision can change things immensely.
5. Make a Family Plan
For many families, a care facility isn’t on the table. May it be money, distaste or lack of access, it is important to have a back up plan for the elders in your life. One of the best things you can do is get the family together to see if you can come up with a plan that doesn’t involve a care center. If everyone can do their part, you might not have to get others to help out. For instance, if some families are willing to spend the night with the elder a night or two a week, then you can cover most of the week. Those who stay home with children or work non-traditional hours might be able to dedicate the day time hours to the elder. You might even have the elder live with a family for a month and then swap to another family member. No matter the choice, make sure the elder in your life feels stable and has a home base established. This should improve on the care of the elder while also saving a lot of money. Your family plan will entirely depend on the size and availability of your family too, so you might have to do some juggling.
6. Embrace Crafts
Believe it or not but setting up some crafts for International Elder Appreciation Day can be one of the best things you do for the elders in your life. Crafts have actually been known to help improve mental awareness in elders, which might help improve memory and prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Apart from cognitive benefits, crafts keep the hands busy which is great for motor functions, especially as elders begin to use their bodies less. Best of all, crafts can be a great way to reduce stress and promote bonding. You might come up with a craft schedule to do daily or at least weekly to improve on the health and happiness of the elder in your care.
7. Go For Walks
Walking is one of the healthiest things anyone can do. So, you might want to consider a walk with the elder in your life on this day of celebration and every other day. Since the weather has cooled down, this will do everyone a lot of good. Walking helps to get the exercise the elder needs without causing a lot of discomfort that other forms of exercise might. On top of that, it allows for fresh air, which is also important for the body. Walking helps to clear the mind as well, which will ease stress. Of course, you should make sure everyone is dressed for the weather to avoid potential illnesses that could become life threatening in a weakened immune system.
8. Know Benefits
There are actually a lot of benefits that can help the elders in your life have a better quality of life. For starters, most seniors qualify for Medicare after a certain age. So, you might look into this insurance policy to see when the elder in your life can apply and if they will need supplemental insurance to help take care of other problems. Social security is another option for seniors of a certain age, which will supply a monthly stipend to help with cost of living and more. These are only two of the programs that elders qualify for. There are also optional programs like Meals On Wheels to consider. If the elder in your life is a veteran, then check out VA benefits. You might even find a VA center in your community, which is a great place for socialization.
9. Host a Party
If you’d like the elders in your life to feel special, then you might consider holding a party in their honor on this special day. You can deck out the home in enlarged photos of their pasts to help them share stories throughout the party and show how much you care. Of course, you can also host a party in a theme you know they will love. If the elder lives in a nursing home, then this might be a great way to celebrate an abundance of people. You can make your own treats and talk to the nursing home about ways to improve on the party, so everyone has a good time. This celebration is certain to lift the spirits of anyone that attends.
One way to really make a difference in the lives of the elders in your community then volunteering is a great way to help out. There are lots of ways to volunteer too, so you can always choose a job based on your own interests. One of the more popular items is to spend time with elders that are in a nursing home. Many people do not get visitors, so stopping by to chat every now and then can make a huge difference. You might consider doing the same thing at a VA hospital. Of course, you can also offer to help an elder in your community by taking them shopping or do the shopping for them. Yard work and other household chores are another great option too. Use the skills you already have to make the lives of others better and you’ll be on the right path to helping to celebrate the elders in your like efficiently.
International Elder Appreciation Day is a great time to show the elders in your life how much they mean to you. However, it is also a great time to make plans to share your appreciation and love every day of the year. You will love the response the elders in your life have to the changes you have made, and you’ll enjoy the time you have to spend with them.