Far too often, our society writes off the elderly as “having lived their lives”. Older adults are therefore considered to be incapable of learning anything new. That really isn’t a fair assessment, is it? In truth, you’re never too old to learn new things, no matter what that “old dogs/new tricks” idiom tells us.
How can you introduce new and exciting activities into the life of your elderly loved one? Here are three ways to get your aging parents to try new things:
1. Engage in arts and crafts.
Is there a creative side in your aging parent just looking to burst out? You never know until you give him/her the opportunity to explore it. Pick up some paper, a canvas, some paint and some brushes, markers, pencil crayons, glue – you get the picture. Hand them off to your elderly loved one and see what he/she comes up with. Be sure to discuss the type of art project your aging parent may enjoy and be sure to show your support of this new hobby.
“Drawing, colouring, painting, and sculpture are all wonderful ways to be creative,” insists DailyCaring.com, “Fun projects might include creating scrapbooks, organizing family photo albums, or making a family recipe book…Research has found creative activities can help people who are battling chronic illness to decrease negative emotions and increase positive ones, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve medical outcomes.”
2. Encourage more open-mindedness.
Is your aging parent stuck in his/her ways? The truth is that you can’t really blame an older person for sticking to his/her guns. They have lived long lives and don’t know much other than what they’ve already experienced. This doesn’t mean, however, that they can’t see things differently. Especially for particularly stubborn older folks, it’s wise to use a calm and supportive approach to getting them to be more open-minded.
“Younger generations are eager to learn and absorb knowledge no matter how daunting it might seem,” writes Chad Fincher of Optimal Home Care, “Unfortunately, as we get older we tend to becomes more set in both our ways and our ideas. While these new things might seem scary or difficult, kids teach us to keep an open mind and get excited to develop new skills or learn something new.”
3. Demonstrate how to use modern technology.
The idea that a senior citizen can’t find his/her way around a modern-day device is quite the stereotype. Why not work to break it? It’s 2021. No matter your age, it’s worthwhile to know how to operate a smartphone, tablet or laptop computer. It’s also a good idea to inform a senior of how to check email, stream music or download a video. Perhaps, most importantly, it’s wise for an older adult to know how to contact his/her loved ones.
“You might start with a FaceTime phone call while you are in the same building but in separate rooms,” suggests Miami’s Papa Blog, “Help them choose their favorite photo (or take a selfie) for their Facebook profile picture. When you’re providing tech help for seniors, don’t give them too much to do at once, or they might feel overwhelmed.”
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we always encourage older adults to try new things. We would love to introduce you to the mobility solutions that can help make their lives easier! To learn all about them, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!