Relationships in Life Are Important

Elders do have something that younger generations lack…experience at life. And they appreciate passing along that expertise, both formally and in casual conversation. Elder adults understand the value of sharing life’s experiences with younger generations. Interestingly, the relationship between a homecare provider and senior can be surprisingly strong. Many times, my clients describe their feelings about our staff of care providers in terms such as…”She feels like my sister. We really enjoy each other’s company.” Each has learned about each other, and shared common experiences. They may have become quite mutually dependent on each other, a bond created from the daily contact and communication at home.

The Benefits of Simply Listening

Being a good listener can be a very small gesture which provides happiness.  An elderly parent may be frustrated with their legacy — their perceived impact on life and on those dear to them. Life brings on “macro” questions…What have I done? What will I leave behind? What can I give back to family & friends when I’m gone? Sometimes these questions don’t have immediate answers. But listening has value. Listening to stories of how they grew up – what their world was like? They appreciate telling those stories, and they value the attention and companionship care at home.

Many times the staff at Home Care Partners can help seniors create tasks for themselves – by channeling their interest in relating their life experiences. For these seniors, delving into the family genealogy can prove to be a wonderful process for everyone in the family. Start slowly, and summarize some snapshot conversations. We can then go back to that subject and fill in some gaps at a later date.

Tasks for an Active Senior

It is meaningful, personal, rewarding, and enlightening when uncovering the family tree, long forgotten ancestors, and your own place in family history. Try getting your elderly parents started with books, or some library research, or an on-line search. There may be antiques in the house that have colorful history, for example a sword which has been handed down for generations; an important piece of jewelry; a handmade piece of furniture. My own family has a piece of wood with an embedded bullet taken from the Gettysburg battlefields. It is a wonderful family relic which always brings about family stories. Your parents, or family, may have something historically or emotionally valuable…just look and listen!

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