Helping the Elderly
What does World Humanitarian Day mean for you? For some people, it equates to a charitable act of giving. For others, this day is more profoundly personal in nature and more weighty in significance than money could ever convey. The simple act of forging a pure, kind human connection can be the most invaluable gift of all. On this day, we encourage you to visit an elderly person and illuminate their day with a selfless act of philanthropy. Read below to discover the reasons why you should participate in this.
Why You Should Participate
Did you know that human networks and social behavior can actually extend an individual’s lifespan and avert the possibility of illness? That’s right. Many individuals in the elderly population are in dire need of human connection. As we age, our social circle’s gradually begin to wane, until our social life has dissipated entirely (for some, not all). Many elderly individuals are highly social people who frequently engage in community activities. However, there are others, for one reason or another, who rarely engage in activity social activity.
Generally, an elderly person’s social circle decreases for a few primary reasons. Sometimes, they have experienced the loss of a spouse. Over time, that spouse may have become their primary source of socializing, leaving them devoid of anyone to talk to after that person passes away. Another reason why an individual’s social circle may decrease is because their physical state leaves them incapable of traveling great distances or actively participating in the community. And of course, some individuals may be not receive visits from their loved one’s because of physical or emotional distance. With this said you can truly do an elderly person a great benefit by simply visiting them. Remember, isolation can plague the human immune system and leave the body weak and lethargic. Social behavior is critical for our physical and emotional health.
Of course, visiting an elderly person can be an enriching experience for you as well. You can learn a great deal about character, history and profound human wisdom by speaking to someone who lived before you. It can shed a new light on your everyday, mundane perspective.
If an elderly individual is particularly stressed or dismayed by their life circumstances, perhaps you can brighten their day with a simple visit to the hospital.
Consider going to a nursing home to entertain a few elderly individuals at once. For example, you may decide to put on a small scale comedy show on their behalf in order to keep them thoroughly entertained. Try hosting a small social event for them free of charge. Or perhaps, a simple musical performance will brighten their day. These are simple and easy ways that you can contribute to the elderly community.
Another simple way that you can help the elderly is by volunteering to help one for an entire day. You may consider conducting their errands, preparing all of their food, or even simply keeping them company for the day. You would be surprised by the level to which this helps them. Furthermore, they will never forget your act of kindness.
Another salient reason why you should participate in this effort is because quite often, the elderly are a forgotten and shunned community with less support than they require. Simply said, they are ostracized from the professional world, and sometimes, from their own families. As noted, a healthy social life is exceedingly important in the context of their physical health.
To learn more about the psychosocial aspects of age, visit this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_age#Psychosocial_aspects
Visiting a Nursing Home
You may decide to take this process one step further, and pay kind visits to elderly individuals in nursing homes. If you should decide to do this, you must proceed carefully. When you visit an elderly person, you may consider discussing music from their earlier days, which is a great way to broach conversation-if you do not know them. Another great method to use is to discuss current events that they may not be aware of. But, as always, be respectful, courteous and a great listener. Express a genuine gratitude for who they are, and display an authentic interest in getting to know them. Furthermore, never prod them with uncomfortable subject matters, and try to adhere to positive subject matters as much as possible.
Simple Ways To Make Them Smile
When you show up to visit this person, present to them a simple gift, such as a gift basket, fruit basket, a magazine, or any otherwise simple gesture of kindness.