As people get older, they typically start to struggle with mobility, health complications, and changes to their physical abilities and limitations. Watching a relative go through this process can be challenging for both of you.
Fortunately, there are ways that you can bring more comfort and happiness to your aging relative’s life.
Here’s how to do it.
Get the Right Gifts
Certain gifts can almost instantly make a senior more comfortable, either by giving them a cozier, more comfortable experience directly, or by giving them more opportunities to do something they love, like talking to loved ones.
These are some excellent categories of gift ideas that can make seniors more comfortable:
- Tech devices. New technological devices can do all kinds of things, from facilitating video calls to providing novel forms of intellectual stimulation. Whether you get your aging relative a smart speaker, a digital photo frame, a smartphone, or some piece of smart home technology, you’ll probably improve their life in a meaningful way.
- Mobility aids. For older adults who are starting to struggle with mobility, mobility aids can be incredibly useful. A cane, a walker, or a similar device could be exactly what they need to get around more easily.
- Cozy items. Personal comfort items like weighted blankets, soft slippers, and ergonomic pillows can make a big difference in the comfort your aging relative feels every day.
- Personal touches. Don’t forget about smaller gifts and more personal touches, such as keepsakes and handmade gifts.
If you’re looking for more specific gift ideas, DailyCaring has an excellent list of gift ideas for elderly women, specifically.
Visit and Help Often
You can also make the aging relative in your life much more comfortable by visiting and helping them regularly. These are some of the best ways you can help them.
- Prepare meals. With age, cooking and meal preparation gets harder. Consider cooking delicious meals for the aging relative in your life – or at least helping them with meal prep.
- Tackle chores and errands. Certain chores and errands may be difficult or impossible for some older adults. You can make their life easier and more comfortable by taking care of them directly. Cleaning the house and shopping for groceries doesn’t take much of your time, but it can be a huge relief for the senior you love.
- Improve mobility. As adults get older, they start to struggle with mobility. You can make them more comfortable in their own house by making that house better supportive of people with mobility issues. For example, you might install a wheelchair lift or make cabinets more accessible.
- Improve safety. Similarly, you can make an older person more comfortable by improving safety. Eliminating or reducing hazards in the home environment can greatly reduce the risk of an accident or injury.
- Talk. Socialization is one of the simplest, yet most effective ways to keep older adults connected and mentally engaged. Accordingly, one of the best things you can do to make an older adult more comfortable is to talk to them as often as you can. Ask thoughtful questions and listen actively to make the experience even more engaging.
Assist in Providing Healthcare
Healthcare needs become more complicated with age as well. You can make the senior in your life more comfortable by assisting in providing care to whatever extent you can.
- Educate yourself. Start by educating yourself on aging and any specific afflictions faced by this person. The more knowledge you have, the more you will be able to support them.
- Attend appointments. If and when possible, attend appointments with the older adult in your life. You can help to listen and remember instructions, you can ask thoughtful questions, and you can provide emotional support along the way.
- Track and provide treatments. You can also relieve stress and ensure treatment consistency by tracking and, when possible, providing treatments. For example, you can help this person remember to take their daily medication.
Encourage Other Connections
There’s much you can do to make an aging relative more comfortable, but you’re still only one person. You can enrich the life of this senior by encouraging them to make other connections and talk to other people as frequently as possible.
Depending on this person’s age and condition, that could mean motivating them to go out more often and engage with their close friends and neighbors, or it could mean introducing them to new forms of engagement in the digital world.
With greater comfort and better support, seniors can live a more engaged, fulfilling life, even as their physical health begins to decline. There are countless ways to bring more comfort to the older adults in our lives, and because many of them are free or inexpensive, there’s no excuse not to pursue them.