Updated: May 18
The Art Of Appreciating And Cultivating Connections With The Elderly
By: Tara Bansal
Did you know that more than 6.5 million Americans age 65 and older suffer from some form of depression? The causes of elderly depression are multifactorial. Despite some causes like medical sickness and aging beyond our control, there are several steps that we and the elderly can take to ensure happiness and fulfillment for all.
Happiness is a universal pursuit, but perhaps even more sought by our elders who may have become lonely, sick, frail, and worried about their finances and end-of-life decisions!
We all treasure the wisdom of older generations and have benefitted from their advice and hard work through the years, and we need to prioritize their happiness and give them joy and support in return, especially in their golden years. By understanding simple methods of contributing to their happiness and making simple adjustments in our interactions with them, we can keep our grandparents happy for many many years to come.
Social connections are vital for all ages, and they become even more important for the elderly. Spending quality time with grandparents, engaging in meaningful conversations, and actively listening to their stories can deepen bonds and create joy. Individuals should visit them regularly. If our busy lives prevent that, we should make frequent short phone calls or interact digitally with them, things that are sure to put a smile on their faces!
Recognizing and celebrating their milestones and accomplishments is important for their mental well-being. Whether it's a birthday, anniversary, or personal achievement, expressing genuine appreciation for them can enhance their sense of self-worth.
Moreover, physical and mental well-being are essential pillars of happiness. A study published in the Journal of Gerontology in 2020 found that physical activity along with high levels of social support produced higher levels of life satisfaction than those who did not. Encourage regular exercise, healthy eating habits, and medical check-ups to support overall vigor!
Lastly, engaging our elders in activities that align with their interests and capabilities can provide a sense of purpose. Encourage them to pursue hobbies, join community clubs or organizations, play games, or participate in gentle physical exercises or artistic endeavors. Accompanying them in these activities will not only stimulate their minds and bodies but also foster a sense of accomplishment.
If they are physically incapable, watching a hilarious movie or video together will help share some laughs and build memorable bonds!
In conclusion, the pursuit of happiness for our elders is a collective responsibility that brings immeasurable rewards. By nurturing meaningful connections, celebrating milestones, encouraging engaging activities, and prioritizing their health and well-being, we can create an environment where happiness flourishes. Let us cherish and honor our elders by fostering a culture of joy, love, and appreciation, ensuring that their golden years are filled with happiness and fulfillment!