Photo by Associated Press
Three senior African American women at the park, hugging. They are best friends excited to see each other. One woman has her eyes closed, with a big smile on her face.

By The Newsletter 05

As summer comes to a turbulent end. You often ask yourself where does the time even goes?

That rings true, especially if you are a care giver for someone you love. The days are about to become shorter and few events and activities will become less of a thing.

The Covid-19 pandemic is bad enough, and then for some on the east coast you have remnants of bad weather to contend with. Elderly like to be functional, and those that are confined with not being able to get up and go can be very stressful.

Holidays often remind the elders of how much fun they had in their younger years. The special moments with their spouses and watching their children grow up. Then as they age some are left alone or have family who are either too busy or just out of town.

Take Lisa for instance, she and her husband just emptied their home of children going safely back to college. What she didn’t know was that her mom was having problems at her assisted living center.

Her older brother stop paying his portion of the bill, so she was left with a staggering lease. Instead of her and her husband trying to dip in their savings to keep her mom there. They decided to just care for her at their home.

Lisa works remotely as an insurance agent and her husband was an Independent contractor in construction. They made pretty decent money as African American parents of 2 college kids. So, why not just let her mom stay with them.

Her mom Gladys, was 77, had her facilities and still could beat anybody in a game of Bid Whist. But her mom suffered from diabetes and had bouts of depression.

Lisa being the savvy smart former school teacher that she was. She facilitated fun ways to keep her mom focused and active. Her mom had 7 grandchildren and 5 of them were in town where they lived in Georgia.

So, they all took turns taking her places and keeping her mind occupied. And during the holidays like Labor Day, they took her to senior centers where they played cards and bingo all day.

Not only did her mom forget her worries of pending bad weather days in winter; being alone and or just not be able to get around. She was satisfied and happy to know someone still cared for her.

You have to give elders a since of belonging, as in make them part of what is going on. Even if they are not as active as 77-year-old Gladys.

If an elder is bedridden but still have their cognitive skills and can use their hands, such as to write or read. Then get creative, invest in a laptop or tablet, so that you can add apps with games for them to play.

There are many sites online that can assist with finding things for your elders to do when confined at home. I would strongly suggest signing them up for AARP by clicking the link.

Just like Gladys, elders love to be social, especially doing the holidays. Just like tomorrow is Labor Day, your elder parents want to be around their family. So try to make thing comfortable and familiar for them.

With Gladys she has a pretty large family and she is fortunate to have all them caring for her needs. But some older people do not have that luxury, and they will be grateful if a neighbor would come check on them.

Things you can do to help elders cope during the holidays.

Introduce them to new recipes for dinner

Take them to the park, let them see the flowers and people handing out.

Take lots of photos

Start shopping with them for new coats and other winter necessities

Invest in a tablet; load them with games, possibly the free casino games and crosswords.

Get them a memory book to help them keep up with family members.

Invest in a Facebook Portal

Facebook Portal Plus – Smart Video Calling 15.6” Touch Screen Display with Alexa – Black

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Have yourself a safe Labor Day. I pray that those affected by the Hurricane get the assistance that they need.

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