With each of the following activities, the goal is to do them with the client in a way that encourages him or her to stay engaged and cognitively stimulated in a meaningful way.
- Menu planning, meal preparation, cleanup and shopping
- House keeping
- Physical activities
- Social outings
- Guidance with living wills and advance directives
One of the great needs in old age is intimacy. For many family members, having enough time to devote to their elders can be stressful. Younger people have different pacing than elderly people, for whom daily activities take more time. Also the shift in roles for family members can feel challenging – going from being a family of independent people, to a phase where the elderly now need lots more tending and support in different areas.
I offer time to the family, to meet and join with the elder, so they are not so alone. In developing a relationship with the elder, it’s possible to draw close where we can attend to how to help in a holistic way. Rather than taking over various tasks, which can accelerate cognitive and social loss, we work together.
Often older people let things accumulate and pile up in their environments. There can be increased challenge for them in organizing their days, making doctors appointments, doing laundry, filling the bird feeders.
In befriending older people as individuals, and becoming an ally in ways that are unique for each person and family, we can work towards completion and wholeness. The activities that form each day can be approached more as ways to be in relationship rather than simply practical tasks and yet the practical tasks are exactly where we meet and join.
This is a preventative approach, to maintain physical health and mind by accompanying the elder as much as possible in menu planning, meal preparation, house keeping, medical appointments and tracking of medicines.. and social outings, while encouraging conversations which capture life review and point towards meaning and depth.
Through working together in daily activities, I can facilitate connection with the older person, which is also a support for the family.