5 Caring Ways to Support the Elderly in Your Life

Ways to Support the Elderly in Your Life

When it comes to caring for our elderly grandparents, relatives, neighbours or friends, most of us want to do whatever we can to help out. But sometimes, it’s hard to know the best way to show the older person in your life support. So here are ‘ 5 Caring Ways to Support the Elderly in Your Life’.


“Most people don’t grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging.”

Maya Angelou


5 Caring Ways to Support the Elderly in Your Life


5 Caring Ways to Support the Elderly in Your Life - Simply spend time with them

Photo by Austrian National Library


Ways to Support the Elderly in Your Life #1

Simply Spend Time With Them

Talk to the older person in your life, listen to their stories, look through through their old photos with them, and learn about their lives. Not only will this make them happy, but it will also give you a better understanding of who they are and where they came from – and who doesn’t love to hear real life stories of yesteryear!

Our elderly often feel isolated and lonely, especially if they live far away from family or don’t have many friends they can meet regularly. So just spending an afternoon on a regular basis with them can really brighten their week.

If you can’t visit in person, pick up the phone or video chat with them on Skype or FaceTime. It may not be the same as being there in person, but it’s still quality time spent together.


Further Reading: Looking After Your Health As You Get Older


5 Caring Ways to Support the Elderly in Your Life - Help out around the house

Photo by Yoshua Giri


Ways to Support the Elderly in Your Life #2

Help Out Around The House

If the elderly person in your life lives independently, offer to help with things around the house that may be difficult for them to do. This could include things like mowing the lawn, doing the grocery shopping, or even just cleaning up a bit or dusting those hard to reach areas. If they can’t do these things themselves, or it takes a lot out of them to complete certain household chores – then it can really help take some of these burden off their shoulders and lighten the load.

And if you don’t live close by, you can still help out by hiring someone to do these chores for them or sending them a gift card that they can use for groceries or other household needs.


Further Reading: 5 Top Tips for A Post-COVID Holiday with Elderly Parents


5 Caring Ways to Support the Elderly in Your Life - Consider their Health Needs

Photo by Imad Alassiry


Ways to Support the Elderly in Your Life #3

Consider Their Health Needs

As we get older, our health needs change, and it’s important to be aware of what those changes are. If, for example, your grandparents are starting to have difficulty with their hearing or vision, there are ways to help make their lives easier. You can get them an appointment with an audiologist for hearing aids or an optician for reading glasses.

There are also many assistive devices available that can help with things like mobility or even devices to help with everyday tasks around the house.

As we all age routine check-ups with our GP is a must – to monitor our bloods and nutrition, vitamin deficiencies, cholesterol and our heart health. These check-ups continue into our old age and so if you’re unsure what kind of help the older person in your life needs, talk to their doctor – they’ll be able to give you more specific information about what will benefit them.


Further Reading: Cardiovascular Health – 4 Lifestyle Tips for a Healthy Heart


5 Caring Ways to Support the Elderly in Your Life - talk about home

Photo by Amisha Nakhwa


Ways to Support the Elderly in Your Life #4

Talk About Home

If the elderly person in your life is starting to need more help than you or other family members can provide, it may be time to start thinking about a number of options. Here are a handful to consider;

  1. Can their home be redesigned and adapted to meet their needs?
  2. Is there an option for home help?
  3. Can they move into your home?
  4. Can you care for them?
  5. Is moving into a Care Home an option?

Even the decision to discuss nursing Care homes is a big decision. But it’s important to remember that it’s not always easy for families to care for their elderly relatives. Nursing homes, however, can provide the level of care that your grandparents need.


5 Caring Ways to Support the Elderly in Your Life - Encourage them to join a supportive community

Photo by Юлія Вівчарик


Ways to Support the Elderly in Your Life #5

Encourage Them To Join A Supportive Community

If your grandparents or elderly relatives are finding it difficult to cope on their own, or if they’re feeling isolated, see if there are any supportive communities, clubs or societies in the area that they can join. There are often specialised groups where seniors can socialise and make new friends. This can help them feel more connected and less alone.

Do some research online or ask at your local library or community center to see what’s available. And if there’s nothing suitable, maybe you could start something yourself! It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – just a weekly coffee morning or afternoon tea where your grandparents can chat with other people their age – similar to the clubs you joined yourself as a child or teenager, or the parent and toddler meetups that meant the world to you as a new parent.


Human beings are a social species that relies on cooperation to survive and thrive. Understanding how and why cooperation succeeds or fails is integral to solving the many global challenges we face.

― nature.com


Supporting your grandparents or elderly relatives can be extremely rewarding. It’s a great way to show them your love and appreciation and can also help strengthen the bond between you. And always remember, with any luck you’ll be old one day too.


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Edwina O'Connor
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