No matter your age, being geographically separated from family is tough. For seniors, this separation can turn everyday routines into a serious challenge. If you notice a neighbor or community member struggling in this way, you may be wondering how you can best help.
The answer to this question can also get complicated, which is why the legal firm of Brinkley Walser Stoner collaborated with Beverly Nelson of Stand Up for Caregivers on this resource list.
How to Help Seniors at Home
Caring for a home can be a burden for seniors living alone. Tasks that once were handled relatively easily — like taking care of the lawn, doing dishes, and keeping up on laundry – become more difficult to complete. Consider these options:
- If it’s within the budget, you could look into helping seniors hire a home cleaning service.
- Seniors may also appreciate help from specialty pros, like furniture cleaners. Searching for a reputable pro is easy with Angi, which also provides customer reviews and ratings.
- You can also help seniors who live alone by getting out and running errands.
- If cooking has become difficult, consider meal and food delivery like Meals on Wheels.
Helping Seniors Around Town
Driving can be unsafe or inaccessible for seniors. But that doesn’t mean it’s a ticket to social isolation and loneliness, which should be avoided. According to a report in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, seniors who stop driving are nearly twice as likely to become depressed. Do not despair — transportation help is available:
- Most communities offer free public transportation for adults who are 65+.
- If you’re highly motivated, you could set up a volunteer drive program.
- For short-distance trips there’s always the taxi, too, but in addition you have personal ride options like Lyft and Uber.
Ways to Prevent Senior Isolation
In addition to home maintenance and driving, seniors may need ways to combat loneliness. One thing the pandemic taught us was how to communicate remotely with our loved ones, and now certain apps are widely used. While a simple phone call suffices in many cases, today’s communication tech like video conferencing allows for what everyone wants and needs — a little facetime.
- Isolation has reached epidemic proportions for seniors during the pandemic.
- Simply reaching out can help prevent isolation.
- You could also use the latest communication technology like Zoom, Skype and Facebook Messenger to stay in touch remotely.
Assisting Seniors in Urgent Situations
Aging often comes with having less energy and strength than we once had, which is what increases the risk of injury. Falls commonly result in older adults visiting the emergency room, and falls are the leading cause of death in people over 65, notes Johns Hopkins. Of course, there is a litany of other types of injuries that may occur, some of them serious. Here are some tips for helping a senior in danger:
- Know when to report safety or health concerns you may have about seniors.
- Law firms focusing on elder law can also help you answer elder law concerns.
- It may also be helpful to know that May is designated National Elder Law Month.
Connecting seniors with these services, help, and resources needed to maintain their independence and quality of life is a worthy pursuit. By using this guide to do so, you will be actively supporting and uplifting local seniors and making your community a much better place.
Questions about elder law? Contact us today or call 336.249.2101