By Errand Works
Ask almost anyone and they will respond that they want to live a long and healthy life. However, as we reach and surpass our retirement years, longevity isn’t the only goal. It’s also the quality of each and every day. Quality of life may not be something we think about when we are younger, but as mobility begins to slow down and driving is no longer safe, it is more challenging to remain connected and engaged. Below is a closer look at how to support our aging loved ones.
Everyone Needs a Purpose
The ability to live a schedule-free life may sound like a dream to those of us whose schedule is so full we rarely have a spare moment, but we must also consider the alternative. Many seniors, even recent retirees, struggle with how to fill their days. While some seniors get to work fulfilling their Bucket List, others begin to mourn the loss of their sense of purpose. The good news is that every community has an endless option of ways seniors can fill their days, from volunteering, to taking classes, to participating in hobbies, to socializing with retired friends and heading to local senior events and activities. There are even senior travel groups who travel locally and internationally.
Keeping Seniors Mobile
Many seniors are quite content until health or range of motion removes driving from the table, or simply makes it difficult to walk or stand. The loss of independent outings doubles the risk of depression. Many seniors don’t want to trouble friends and family to take them the places they need to go, and don’t realize the resources available to them. Between the growing option of walkers, wheelchairs and transfer aids seniors can regain much of their lost mobility. While the ability to drive may never return, many senior programs provide carpools or transportation. Seniors must also explore their options in alternative transportation such as Uber, or hiring an as-needed helper to drive them to and from their errands.
Keeping Seniors Social
There may come a point where heading out of the house, assisted living facility or nursing home becomes too exhausting to achieve more than once or twice a week—or less. To keep seniors social:
- Teach the seniors in your life how to use email, social media and video chat.
- Stay on top of the assisted living or nursing home daily activities schedule.
- Put phone calls, video chats and in-person visits on your schedule.
- Hire a companion to stop by once or twice a week for a social visit, and maybe even an outing.
Stressors vary as we age, which is something we must all be mindful of. While encouraging independence is essential, also look for ways to minimize the stress related to general household tasks and chores. This includes activities we may think of without second thought such as laundry, cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping or setting monthly bills up for automatic bill pay.
We must all play an active role in encouraging a healthy and happy quality of life for the seniors in our family and community. The seniors in our lives may not ask for the help they need or understand their available options. Explore the range of options together.
Errand Works, LLC is a licensed, bonded and insured personal assistance company dedicated to improving quality of life for professionals, caregivers and other busy individuals. Every personal assistant must pass a Virginia State Criminal Background Check prior to being hired. In addition, each personal assistant is a Virginia State Notary.
Let Errand Works help with grocery shopping, taking your vehicle for scheduled maintenance, dropping off and picking up your pet for vet visits and running errands for your aging family members. Errand Works will even help with setting up and decorating for the holidays! Errand Works currently serves Prince William County, Fauquier County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Manassas and the surrounding areas.