October 1 is National Seniors Day, an occasion to celebrate older adults across Canada. We have compiled a few ideas on how to demonstrate your appreciation and show gratitude for an older family member, friend, co-worker, or neighbour, especially during these challenging times.
1. Offer assistance with outdoor chores
As the weather changes and the leaves start to fall, older adults with properties to maintain could use some help. By offering to assist with an outdoor activity like gardening, you can work together doing something that contributes to social engagement while improving physical and mental wellbeing. Just remember to stay 2 meters apart from one another, wear a mask, and wash your hands!
2. Help with errands outside of the home
For older adults, things like grocery shopping and running errands can put them at risk by increasing their exposure to more people. Ask how you can help alleviate any stress or worry that may come with doing errands. Whether it be offering to get their groceries and delivering them, or setting them up with an online delivery service, this can help ensure older adults have healthy and nutritious food to fuel their body and mind.
3. Catch up over the phone or through video chat
One way to show you care is to take some time to say “hi”. Whether through a simple phone call or using technology to connect via video chat, sharing stories and reminiscing can help bring people together and reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. While we may be physically separated, it is possible to remain emotionally close and stay connected using technology.
4. Recommend a funny movie
Laughter and humour are strategies that can be used to maintain perspective during difficult times. Try recommending a funny movie and then discussing your favourite parts from it over a phone or video chat. Evidence suggests laughter and humour interventions may reduce feelings of sadness and worry in adults.
5. Encourage an older adult to take up an artistic hobby, or sing together through video chat online
Taking part in artistic activities like painting and singing can have positive effects on the health and well-being of older adults, including their memory, level of creativity and reaction time. While it may not be possible to do these activities outside of the home at this time, there are ways to express your creativity from home. If you know an older adult who would enjoy participating in the arts, consider setting up an online singing group, or safely drop off some art supplies to help them fuel their artistic passions.
While this National Seniors Day may look a bit different from previous ones, it is an important reminder to celebrate and uplift our community of older adults. Stay happy, active, and engaged as you grow older and help enable those around you to do the same.