When it comes to seniors, every helping hand counts. Not every senior has a caring family, and not every family can afford a professional caregiver. If you’re not a caregiver yourself or don’t have anyone in your close family who needs your assistance but you’d still like to help, you can get involved with helping the elderly in your street or town. I’ve put together a few elder care volunteering ideas for you. Let’s get inspired and change a few lives for the better.
Computer learning & Internet Safety
You don’t need a degree to be able to teach the elderly how to handle a smartphone or a computer, or introduce them to the basics of Internet safety. Every year, hundreds of seniors become victims of shameless frauds and scams, many of which happen online.
Bring a couple of your senior neighbors together and give them a few examples of how to handle technology and information. Adding contacts, answering texts, or googling, dismissing spam and searching for news — it’s a routine for us, but many elderly people struggle with what we consider to be the simplest tasks. And just a short and friendly informational gathering at the local community center can make a world of difference.
Holiday season events
A bit more planning but much more joy — that’s the result of organizing a holiday season event for your lonely senior neighbors or the people in your local nursing home. Become a Santa to people with no family, or create a birthday calendar, sending a small gift and a greeting card to the birthday boy or girl. Make a Facebook group for people in your commu, maybe even ask the local media for a bit of promotion. You will be surprised how many kind strangers are there in your community. Plus, the happiness of the people receiving those little, thoughtful gifts will make up for all the efforts.
Medical insurance is often not enough to cover all the expenses related to illnesses and injuries, and since seniors are especially at risk of these, a little bit of financial help will go a long way. Medication and treatment costs, tools for improving movement ability, even helping out with nursing home costs — there are more underprivileged seniors with no family than we like to admit, so making sure that their lives are not only better is a very noble deed, and anyone with a few dollars to spare can chip in.
Share a meal
I know many people who love to cook, especially for others. But love for cooking often goes hand in hand with excessive portions — and leftovers that don’t always get used. If this ever happens to you, the next time you cook way too much lasagna, try offering a portion to that lovely lady living next door. It’s not something that you must do every day, but making it a once-per-week event will not only give you a chance to check on your neighbor’s well-being, it will also be an excellent chance for some socialization and friendly talk.
Be a good neighbor
Have you heard Chris Salvatore’s story? It’s very intense, and absolutely beautiful. In reality, hardly anyone can afford moving their ill neighbor in, but everyone can be a good neighbor. It all comes down to this simple rule: offer to help, at least every now and then. Offer help with cleaning, taking out the trash, helping with bills and correspondence, or grocery shopping . Come over for a friendly chat over a cup of tea, or join them for an afternoon walk with their pet. Even the smallest acts of kindness can make a lonely life much happier.