We will all get old and aging need not be viewed as a negative aspect of life but rather a new life stage as you enter your golden years. If you have been kind to yourself and you still have your health, then you have done well. Should you be financial and/or personally independent, then even better.
But many of your neighbours, family, or relatives might not find themselves in such a fortunate position and require help with everyday things like bathing, shopping or even getting out of bed in the morning. If you are able, is it not your responsibility as a human being to help the frailest and vulnerable among us?
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Be Vigilant Towards Abuse
It’s a sad fact, but elderly people are extremely vulnerable and like anyone in a vulnerable position, they are abused; even in their care homes by those paid to protect them, and The National Council on Aging reports that over 5,000,000 people are affected by elder abuse each year.
Nursing home abuse and neglect cover such things as bedsores, medication errors, physical and verbal abuse, regular falls, and even death. Reputable firms like Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can help if you suspect that a loved one or neighbor is being subjected to such malicious actions.
Ask About Their Life
Your elderly relative or neighbor may have their independence, their own home, and even good financial means in their bank, but as the proverb states, man cannot live on bread alone. In short, we need more than money in order to survive, and one of the primary requirements for survival, above food and water, is the psychological need for relationships (Abraham Maslow).
An Age UK survey found that more than 2 million over 75-year-olds often go on for over 2 months without speaking to anyone, including friends, neighbours, and relatives. For most of us, this type of loneliness is difficult to imagine, so stopping and just saying hello could mean the world to an elderly person living alone.
Offer Yourself in Service
Of course, getting older means that you aren’t able to do many of the things that you used to do, such as cutting the lawn, cleaning the bathroom or kitchen, and even making it to the store for groceries. An elderly neighbour might have trouble with these and many other things that you take for granted, so why not offer to help out with these?
One of the noblest things we can do as humans is to offer ourselves in service to others. The next time you go to the store, ask if your elderly neighbour needs anything. When you cut your lawn, offer to cut theirs as well and when you have some free time, check in on them for a quick chat and offer help with chores.
When it comes to the elderly, there is a humanitarian responsibility to help those older than us as we would like to be helped. We will all get old and none of us can imagine what it is like to be abused by those paid to help. Abuse can also also be passive, such as the loneliness of many elderly people who receive little to no social interaction for long periods and you can help by offering to complete tasks or chores that older people aren’t able to on their own.
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*This is a collaborative article