Have you heard of the saying “No man is an Island?”
Well, that is very true since as human beings, we depend on each other to achieve quality life. As we age, we may tend to have fewer relationships compared to our prime years and there is every need to ensure that we maintain positive relationships.
This is because we experience drastic changes such as memory loss and our physical abilities decline hence the need for other people to assist us get by.
Why are Relationships Important for the Elderly?
Without people around or with you, one may feel hopeless, isolated and may get depressed.
Once the elderly have family or friends around them, they will not feel like they are a burden to the society but this boosts their moods and makes them feel loved. This will lead to the elderly enjoying every minute of life knowing that someone cares about them.
What are the Most Important Relationships for Older Adults?
There are four most important relationships that an elderly needs. These are:
- Spousal Relationships
- Caregivers such as Nurses, Doctors and Lawyers.
The elderly may be faced with health challenges as time goes by.
They will then depend on nuclear family and extended families to provide support. Without any relatives close by, the elderly are bound to feel neglected, mental torture takes over, memory loss and in some cases this shortens their lifespan.
It is therefore important that families treat elderly loved ones with love and care since they still have dreams and goals to be achieved despite being elderly.
A friend is what the heart needs all the time.
Friends are important, whether new friends or friendships formed a long time ago. It is through friends that the elderly have companionship as they get by life.
Talking to a friend has been proven to be one sure way of relieving stress and keep our elderly citizens from falling into depression. The elderly can also make new friends by joining book clubs, online meets and even joining communities both online and offline.
During these times of the pandemic, many elderly people have made use of social networking platforms to build positive relationships such as joining online cooking classes and other areas of interest. It is here that some make friends too.
Some elderly are lucky to have their partners during old age while some are unfortunate due to death or separation.
The mere thought of doing life together for spouses who have been together for long improves the mental well being for them, reduces stress and improves the quality of life. Spouses are the most common source of companionship for older adults.
Elderly spouses offer support, love and words of affirmation to each other and this works like nutrition and nourishment and the urge to keep moving as life goes on.
Other important relationships for elderly are with their neighbors
Neighbors play an important part for the elderly whose children have moved away from home. Once in a while if the elderly are unreachable, the children may ask for help from the neighbors.
Even so, some neighbors may help take care of the elderly who can not carry out tasks such as shopping or driving to hospitals during emergencies.
The elderly also need to maintain relationships with caregivers and doctors for those who have health challenges.
By keeping these health practitioners close, they can ask for advise or assistance anytime they need. The caregivers will recommend activities they can take part in to avoid deterioration of health and in the same breadth recommend activities that promote the overall well being of the elderly.
The elderly can also maintain relationships with other professionals such as lawyers. We find that some elderly may need services from lawyers when they need to document their last wishes by drafting wills with the help of the professionals.
With these relationships, the elderly have been living their best life whether at home or in care homes as they feel loved and appreciated. It is our duty to be available for our elderly as they go through changes whether physical, mentally and health wise.
Simple acts such as hosting lunch with the elderly, get togethers, inviting them for walks around the neighborhood shows them that we care about them and they end up feeling loved.