The Importance Of Empowering The Elderly – How To Do It Right

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
Updated:

It is important to empower the elderly because it improves their quality of life by helping them feel like they matter and that they are important to their family and society as a whole.

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In most areas, many senior citizens have been completely neglected. They end up taking care of themselves and taking forever to see their families and friends. This takes a negative toll on their life, both physically and emotionally.

They tend to isolate and might even regress further into dementia if left to take care of themselves. Therefore, rather than neglecting your elderly loved ones, you need to take the necessary steps to empower them.

Why Is It Important To Empower The Elderly?

Empowering the elderly makes it easier for them to enjoy a quality life in their older years. They can make new friends, enjoy visits from their loved ones and participate in the community. Social isolation often leads to poor physical and mental health.

Therefore, by empowering the elderly, it’s easy for them to rejoin the community and have a good and quality long life. Some of the ways you can empower the elderly include the following.

1. Redescribe Getting Older

In many countries, getting old means that people become revered in their culture. They become the key decision-makers.

However, it’s not the same in many areas.

Therefore, the right way to empower the elderly is to redescribe getting older. Most people ridicule instead of celebrating the elderly. It’s easy enough to ignore their abilities and acknowledge what they can contribute to society.

By empowering older people, we can effectively reduce the discrimination against the elderly. We need to appreciate the wisdom and insight they have. Elderly adults have a lot to offer and we need to learn how to appreciate them.

2. Always Include Your Elderly Loved Ones In Decision-Making

It’s a basic human right to allow people, even the elderly loved ones in your life, a chance to make decisions about their life. Most people often choose to enroll their loved ones in senior centers without thinking about what their loved ones prefer.

If you want to start empowering your loved ones, you need to start involving them in the decision-making process about their lives. You need to make sure that your loved ones enjoy the same life choices as everyone else.

They need to have control of their life, regardless of their age. For instance, if you want to make changes to their living situation, you need to find out what they would like. Even when it comes to choosing social activities they can participate in, always ask your loved ones first.

Remember, that your elderly loved ones are worried about losing their independence.

Therefore, by including them in the decision-making process, you can make small changes that make them feel empowered.

3. Choose The Right Type Of Language

If you are looking for ways to empower your elderly loved ones, stop referring to them as older or the elderly. Such language might make them feel disempowered. For instance, calling them aging dependents often makes them feel useless.

When engaging in conversation with seniors, you need to mind your language. Simply because you are trying to be nurturing or kind, you might find yourself talking to them like they are a small child. Find out how they prefer being called and give them a choice in the matter.

Empower them by talking to them like adults even in their older years.

4. Create A Long-Lasting Connection

Loneliness is a huge thing that most senior citizens face. That’s because they lose their mobility and support network when their friends pass away or their families move far away. They need to have family support and a community if they are to be socially connected and improve their overall wellbeing.

The best way to empower your elderly loved ones is by making sure they have a good community around them. For instance, rather than letting them stay alone yet, there are no people visiting, you can move them into a comfortable retirement village.

Yes, moving out of their own home means that they might lose their independence. That’s why you need to do the necessary research to find a community where they can make new friends and retain their independence as they are taken care of.

Conclusion

Never doubt the importance of feeling empowered even in old age. Take the necessary steps to make sure your elderly parents or grandparents are appreciated and loved even as they grow old.

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional

Scott Grant has spent more than 20 years serving seniors and the elderly in the home medical equipment industry. He has worked as a manufacturer's rep for the top medical equipment companies and a custom wheelchair specialist at a durable medical equipment (DME) provider in WV. He is father to 4 beautiful daughters and has three terrific grandkids. When not promoting better living for older adults, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and kayaking and early morning runs.

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