Simple Ways To Boost the Well-Being of an Elderly Relative

(Contributed Post)

The population in the United States of America is rapidly getting older and experts predict the number of US citizens over the age of 65 will have doubled by 2040. As the population ages, there will be an ever-increasing need for care and support. Many of us will have a period in our lives where we care for our elderly relatives. The wellbeing of the elderly can be affected by disability, loneliness, and deteriorating health. Here are some simple ways that you can help boost the well-being of an elderly friend. 

Listen To Them 

An expert group formed by the UN reported that elderly people often feel disempowered because they are not listened to. Taking time to speak to your relative will help you understand their needs and it will make them feel valued and loved. Often when we visit the elderly our thoughts can turn to practical concerns such as fetching groceries and changing bed covers. However, taking some time during any visit to stop and chat will allow your relationship to strengthen and it will help you to get a better sense of any worries or concerns they may have. 

Take Them Outside 

Time in nature reduces the likelihood of an elderly person developing mental health disorders which can lead to more serious conditions developing. Time in nature can provide a huge boost to their overall well-being. The elderly can often become confined as the outside environment may be difficult to navigate unsupported. Taking time to sit out in a garden or to take a gentle stroll through a park may allow them to enjoy nature at a leisurely pace. Simple activities such as potting plants may also give them motivation and a sense of purpose. 

Provide Care

If an elderly relative needs regular assistance, you should discuss their care options with them. Some forms of care are more expensive than others and you should consider what the financial implications of any option might be. For instance, if you are on the poverty line in MO then the Medicaid-funded CDS program may be of benefit. The scheme allows the care recipient to choose who cares for them (this can be a relative or friend) and is paid for the support they deliver. 


As your relative ages then they may need to adapt their surroundings to suit their needs. Accessibility is often thought of regarding mobility but access to services, social activities and entertainment are just as vital. For instance, your friend may enjoy going to a weekly club like a swimming class. If they can no longer drive or take public transport this club will become inaccessible. Offering a lift to and from the class opens up this opportunity for them. Adjusting the television settings is another example of a simple change that can help the elderly access things they enjoy. 

Finally, remember that your elderly relative is an adult and therefore has a right to autonomy wherever possible. Try to include them in any decisions that may affect their life and consider their emotions when addressing any issues. 

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