Help grandparents adjust
Just as joints stiffen, an ageing man’s attitude becomes more rigid. Indeed, old habits die hard. And although he looks forward to retirement, when it comes he finds that he has to make difficult adjustments. With no office to go to and no job that requires his attention, he may suddenly be at a loss, feel unneeded or insecure, and the thought of no longer being able to contribute may result in depression and lowered self-esteem.
Families and friends who take time to be just that—family and friends—can help alleviate these emotional disturbances common among the elderly. By being caring enough to do some little things that show a sense of gratitude, each of us—children and grandchildren—can do something to remind our elders that they are loved.
Here are some pointers to keep in mind to help our aging relatives and friends cope with the adjustments:
COMPLIMENTS. The simple things we can do mean a lot to them. For anyone, receiving a compliment goes a long way; what more ageing persons who may be experiencing doubts about their self-worth? Little compliments, then, will let them know that they have value in our sight (an elderly woman afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease showed a remarkable improvement when the people in the special institution she was staying in made efforts to comment on her smart dressing).
GETTING INVOLVED. Encourage old folks to get involved in social gatherings, refreshing outings or skills development activities, which may help them continue friendly association with other people and bring about a more enjoyable life for them. Many countries, including the Philippines, emphasize the importance of the senior citizens of their society and thus enjoy the active participation of senior citizen groups in public life. There’s even an Office of Senior Citizens Affairs!Why not look it up yourself and tell your elderly relatives about it?
THE JOY OF PLAY. There’s also playing, fantasizing and imagining—key powers innate in the human person, young or old. These lead to the ability to laugh, which best heals the human spirit. Hence, play remains as important in old age as it does any age, for it provides expression of creativity, freedom and the capacity to wonder and to dream. When you watch a lolo and lola surrounded by their grandchildren, don’t you see the delight in them as they play or even simply enjoy the sight of young ones having fun?
posted by sunnyday at 11:31 PM
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