We all want to stay young forever, face it, we all do, and when we are young and vibrant we probably do think that will be the case. Young people never stop to think that all of this youth will be gone far sooner than expected and they go through life never realizing that things will quickly change and there is no way to stop it. Eventually our physical as well as our mental capabilities are going to lessen and we may be sitting in front of the mirror one day and not even recognize the person we've become. It's the stark reality staring back at us that has us finally understand that the years have caught up to us and there's no turning back.
Seniors may find themselves no longer able to do the things they did before, they may find themselves alone because their spouse has passed away. This can lead to fear, loneliness and isolation. If you know of a senior who might be alone and home bound, why not considering giving a helping hand and becoming a friend to someone that will truly appreciate even the slightest smile that will give them comfort.
Get to know the person that you want to help if they are not a family member. If they are a family member then you've already shared parts of your lives together and use that to be able to sit down with them and reminisce about things. If it's a person like a neighbor you are befriending then sit down with them and ask them to talk about things from their past, the present and their future. Let them express their fears, listen and let them know you care. This will give you a chance to bond with them.
You should also sit down with them and figure out what their needs are. Do they need help going to the doctor appointments, do they need groceries or can you help them clean up around the house? While you are visiting with them be alert and visually figure out what kind of help you think that you might be able to offer them.
At all times, remember to treat them with respect. Understand that most seniors are going to be far too proud to even consider asking for help and this is why so many of them go without. They are so used to being able to take care of themselves and then when suddenly they cant' they will turn to anger or depression instead of turning to someone to ask for help. So do your best to respect their feelings but let them know at the same time you are more than willing to lend them a helping hand.
Everyone deserves dignity and seniors are no exception. If you treat them like a child instead of an adult this is not only a hurtful thing to do but it can also be a harmful thing to do. Unless you have walked in their shoes you have absolutely no idea what they are going through or what they are feeling about the situation that they now find themselves in. If you don't make a big deal out of something they can no longer do without help, they are going to feel a lot better about themselves.
Once you get to know the person better they are going to feel a lot more comfortable with you and they will be more willing to let you into their world by sharing their stories with you and letting you know what things gave them and still give them pleasure. If a person was an avid gardener for example this could be an immediate clue for you to go out and get them a nice fresh bouquet of flowers to brighten up their home. Little things like that you can pick up on to put a smile on their face.
Make sure that you don't make promises that you can't keep. It is important that you show your senior friend that you are true to your word. You need to show them that you have integrity and that you mean what you say. This is the quickest way for them to gain trust in you. Don't promise more than you can honestly deliver and let them know if there are things you aren't able to do, more than likely they will not only understand but will probably give you a few words of kindness and compassion on top of it.
Let your senior friend know that even if you can't always be there at their home that they can always give you a call and when you make that promise make sure that you answer the phone when you see it is your senior friend. Remember you might be the only thing in their lives that they have to look forward to.
Because your senior is home bound it's a good idea that you try to plan for an occasional outing together. Even if they are in a wheelchair you can take them outside for a stroll around the block or you can take them to a park and enjoy the change of scenery. Any little thing you can do to change up their scenery will be much appreciated by them - even if it is just sitting with them on the porch outside.