By: Jan Hayner
You have spent all of your life raising children, working to feed everybody, buy a home, buy clothes to dress everyone, made all of your own financial decisions and you have done a really good job of it. Now, someone comes along and decides that you can’t do this anymore. That they are going to do things to change your life…for your own good. Now tell me, how would you like this to happen to you? Well, it happens to Senior Citizens everyday and sooner or later, you’re going to be one yourself, so plan ahead.
Now, you no longer can live alone, you can’t be trusted to use the stove and someone else has to pay your bills for you. This is very demeaning for anyone to have to go through. Although for a lot of our Elderly and Senior Citizens, this is something that has been done, but, there are ways of making it a lot easier on the person to be able to cope with this situation.
Here are a few suggestions that may help:
Let’s say that the person isn’t able to make a large meal for themselves, or that they couldn’t possibly eat as much as they would cook, but that they need a well-balanced meal. How about giving them a gift certificate so they can go out to eat or set something up with a local restaurant so they can go in to eat and the bill will get paid once or twice a month. They get to go out to eat, have a balanced meal and take the leftovers home and heat in the microwave to eat when ever they choose.
Another alternative would be to set up meals on wheels for them a few times a week or to go to a Senior Center for a meal. You can check this out with your local Office on Aging. Don’t they deserve to have someone else cook for them after all of the years that they have been cooking, besides that; they will only need to have deli meat, bread, milk and snacks in the house for in-between. This will save them a lot of money and we all know that the elderly are 100% for saving money on a fixed income. Transportation for the person to the meal site can normally be set up through the meal site or the Office on Aging.
I CAN’T DRIVE
The thought of depending on other people to take you everyplace that you want to go is one of the reasons the elderly continue to want to drive. Now, if they know that they can get from point A to point B all by themselves and it isn’t going to be expensive and they can do this all on their own, they don’t mind not driving, a matter of fact, most of them look forward to the idea. Get them a monthly bus pass, teach them how to set up transportation using the Seniors Bus or Handicap Bus, get them into a car pool with others from a church or a program that they belong to. Again, the thought of saving on gas, insurance and maintenance on a vehicle will be a blessing for them.
I DON’T REMEMBER
Sometimes you will find that the Senior Citizen used to love to go places and do things and now they almost seem like they are afraid to leave the house. It could be because they don’t remember the way they used to and are afraid that they won’t know how to get back home. No one likes to feel foolish, especially at that age, and most of the time they won’t tell anyone their fears. So, you think of what to do before they ask you about it. Make them business cards (calling cards) to keep with them, with their name address and phone number on. This can be given to people that they would like to have their phone number, to a taxi drive when they are asked where they want to go, or to the person that they are car pooling with. So the “calling card” serves more than one purpose. This helps to take the fright away of not remembering their phone number or address. They always have their calling card with them.
WHAT IF I NEED MY FAMILY
An underlying thought with all elderly is; what if something happens when I am out of the house, will someone get my son or daughter?
Give them a typed piece of paper with everyone’s name, address, phone number, cell phone number, e-mail address etc. on it, for them to keep in their wallet. You may even want to make a notation next to the name that should be called and in what order in case of an emergency, by numbering it 1-2-3. This way the senior knows that their loved one will be called and they don’t have to worry about not remembering a phone number, place of employment or how to contact them. You may also want to contact your nearest hospital and have your name on file in case there is an emergency. Most elderly don’t like the idea of a pocket telephone book because it becomes too confusing for them to follow, just a typed piece of paper so they can see everyone’s information on one page is usually self assuring.
Help your Senior Citizen retain their dignity and Independence and have the feeling of control over their lives no matter what their age. They are our older generation and deserve the respect.
About the Author:
Jan Hayner is creeator of Easy Home Organizing at http://www.organizingyourlifetheeasyway.com Get free tips, shortcuts, hints and printables. Order your free pamphlets 50 Things To Do In 10 Minutes or Less and Guiltbusters for Working Moms