11 Tips You Need to Help the Older Americans in Your Life

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May is National Older Americans Month, a time to pay tribute to the many contributions of senior citizens across the country. The need to support and assist Older Americans, however, extends beyond just one month. Whether you are a caregiver, family member, or friend, there are several ways you can help enhance the quality of life for the older Americans in your life all year round. 

Let us share eleven practical tips to consider as you think about how to support those you care about most in our blog right here.

  1. Promote physical activity. Encourage regular physical activity tailored to their ability level. Activities like walking, yoga, or light aerobics can help maintain mobility and improve overall well-being.
  2. Ensure proper nutrition. Monitor their diet to ensure it is nutritious and meets their dietary needs. Consider meal delivery services or prepare meals in advance to make healthy eating more convenient.
  3. Facilitate social interaction. Help them stay connected with family and friends. Regular social interaction can combat loneliness and keep their spirits high. Arrange for visits, phone calls, or teach them how to use technology to stay in touch digitally.
  4. Encourage mental engagement. Stimulate their minds by encouraging activities like reading, puzzles, or crafts. These activities can help maintain cognitive function and offer a sense of accomplishment.
  5. Assist with financial planning. Help manage their finances by setting a budget, monitoring expenses, and ensuring they have access to financial advice. This also includes helping them understand and manage their medical bills and insurance.
  6. Regular health check-ups. Ensure they attend all necessary medical appointments. Accompany them when possible and keep a record of all health-related information.
  7. Adapt living spaces. Make their living environment safer and more comfortable by adapting it to their needs. This could include installing grab bars in the bathroom, ensuring good lighting, and removing trip hazards.
  8. Support emotional well-being. Be attentive to signs of depression or anxiety, which are common in older adults. Provide emotional support or seek professional help if necessary.
  9. Educate on scam awareness. Educate them about potential scams targeting seniors. Discuss ways to identify suspicious calls, emails, and mail to protect them from fraud.
  10. Plan for the future. Assist them in planning for the future, including discussing estate planning and end-of-life wishes. This ensures their peace of mind and clarifies their preferences for family members.
  11. Celebrate their contributions. Regularly acknowledge and celebrate their life achievements and contributions to the family and community. Recognizing their value helps boost their self-esteem and sense of belonging.

Supporting the Older Americans in our lives is a rewarding endeavor that strengthens bonds and enriches our communities. By implementing these tips throughout the year, we can ensure that our seniors live not only longer but also with better quality of life. Let’s use National Older Americans Month as a starting point to remind ourselves of the ongoing support our elders deserve.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. The Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys (AFELA) is the pre-eminent organization of Florida elder law attorneys providing advocacy, education and action on behalf of seniors and people with disabilities. We encourage you to contact one of our attorneys in your area using our Find a Lawyer website for assistance.