How to Keep Your Elderly Parent Engaged

As your parent gets older, it can be increasingly worrisome and stressful to figure out ways to keep your senior parent safe. In addition to looking after a parent’s mental and emotional health, you have to make sure they’re looking after themselves properly and not being neglectful or withdrawn. It can be hard to make sure your aging parent is thriving and engaging with the world. Luckily, there are a few great ways that you can make sure your senior is living their best life.

Enroll Them in Classes

Many seniors struggle with pursuing interests and activities as they age. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. As your senior gets older, they can begin to take advantage of all the cultural offerings around them in a more consistent way. If you help your parent pursue talks, events, gym classes for seniors, book clubs, library programs, and anything else that’s happening in and around their community center, chances are it won’t be long before they find something that catches their interest.

Encourage Old Interests

It’s possible that your parent has a long-forgotten, or at least, long-neglected, aninterest that has fallen by the wayside. Try to talk to your parent and figure out what still moves and inspires them after all these years. Do they enjoy reading? Swimming? Talking about history? Learning? There are online classes, free lectures, and even interactive seminars about almost every subject imaginable now available at the click of a mouse. Encourage your parent to dive back into their greatest inspiration and learn something new.

Ask Them to Talk About the Past

One of the most valuable things about seniors is the wealth of stories they have to tell us. And most seniors are more than happy to launch into a tale or two. Encouraging your parent to speak about the past or even record stories about their life, will bring back memories and leave a lasting document for generations to come. If you have in-home help for your parent, like in-home care from Seniors Helping Seniors, you can also ask a caretaker to assist with this and make it a fun, ongoing project for your parent that sparks memories and connects them to the world of the past.

Include Them in Family Outings

More than anything, aging parents wants to be included in their children’s lives. They want to remain part of the family. For many seniors, their family life is the most engaging and passionate part of their lives as they grow older. That means that one of the most helpful things you can do in terms of keeping your parent engaged is to keep them included. If you’re going on a day trip or vacation, bring your parent along. If you’re coming to visit your parent, bring the kids. Try to make visits with your parent as family-oriented as possible. If you’re already engaging your whole family in an activity, a walk, or even just a movie outing, bringing your elderly parent along might just make their day.