Establishing Loving Connections with Your Aging Loved One

No matter the situations surrounding the health of your loved one, the fact is that you love them and want to provide the best life possible for them. Use your intuition to express your love for them. It will never fail, because you know them best and you know what has made them happy in the past. Your presence can make a world of difference for your aging loved one. If you communicate instinctually, your relationship with your aging loved on can grow even though they might not have the functions they once did. Whether it’s taking them to their favorite coffee shop or sitting and listening to them tell the stories of their life, you know what will make them feel your love.

Hearing and sight loss is common among the aging population, so it is important to consider speech when addressing somebody who is going deaf or blind. If you have a strong relationship with somebody, close proximity to earshot or their line of vision allows them to make a connection with your presence, so that they can pick up on cues such as your body language, your scent, your voice and your movements. This allows them to feel a sense of empowerment in establishing their surrounding environment. You may have to speak more loudly, but being mindful of tone is important. When speaking to somebody who is hard of hearing, it’s important to not to shout at the person, but speak at a slightly louder volume that still uses the same inflection as if speaking at a normal level. Your aging loved one may feel self-conscious, demeaned or as though they are being an irritation for not being able to hear properly if they feel shouted at.

One sense that never diminishes is the sense of touch. Comfort and love can be expressed through something as simple as massaging lotion on your aging loved one’s hands. Sometimes just a hug or holding your aging loved one’s hand can make them feel safe and secure. Touching the soft skin of a brand new grandbaby or perhaps the plush fur of their favorite pet can provide an atmosphere of love and contentment that no amount of words can express.

Remember while you are caring for your loved one, you are going through something that might be painful for you as well. Seeing your loved one with limitations may make you sad. It’s important to care for yourself as you care for your aging loved one. Take time for yourself but also take time to show your aging loved one how special they are to you. A hug from mom is just as special as an adult as it was when you were a little girl. There is no love like the love that family and friends share for one another. In the midst of stress and uncertainty, make sure that love stays at the heart of each moment.

How to Involve Grandchildren: Aging Loved Ones and Younger Generations

“If a family has an older person in it, it possesses a jewel”
-Chinese proverb

One of the loveliest gifts of life is the relationship that can be shared between a grandparent and grandchild. There are so many ways to involve grandchildren in the care of their aging grandparent. Peace of mind home care often means involving the grandkids. There are many ways that they can add enrichment to your aging loved one’s life.

Family History:

Kids may find learning history is more interesting to learn from someone who actually lived it. Children can find out what it was like to grow up during the Great Depression or World War II from grandparents who experienced life during that time. Personal stories are much easier to remember than lists of data from books. Just as much as children like to learn from stories, grandparents may find it fulfilling to talk to their grandchildren about what life was like at different periods of their lifetime. There are many that wish they had realized that family history is a fragile gift. It vanishes with time, as recollections fade, and as loved ones pass on. Many wish they had known that the most important facet of family history is maintaining a record for future generations to have. A fun activity from grandkids may be to interview their aging loved ones and record in writing or in audio tape their stories. This could be an incredible way for the aging loved one to leave a legacy and a special way for the younger generation to bond.

Life skills and Wisdom:

When your aging loved one was growing up, many learned skills such as sewing, gardening, baking, farming or woodworking that are great things to pass on to grandchildren, as they may not be commonly taught anymore, but are still very useful skills to possess. Teaching their younger counterparts these skills enriches the grandparent as much as the grandchild. Grandparents can not only teach life skills but also can provide their wisdom for life lessons and other advice because they’ve often lived through the same or similar experience. Knowing how a grandparent dealt with problems in their lives and knowing that they got through everything can be a valuable tool. Grandparents have lived long enough to realize not to get upset over the little things. Young grandchildren can learn to adjust their priorities after discussing problems with their grandparents, who have a broader world view.
For grandparents and grandchildren that are not close by, sending postcards and letters can be a great way to remain close and develop the art of communication in written form. Both will have a great time waiting for the next letter to come in the mail and it can serve as a great encouragement to an aging loved one to receive a letter from a grandchild. So whether the grandchildren and your aging loved one live in the same town, the same house, or in different communities, there are so many ways for them to enrich one another’s lives.