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Ways to Strengthen Bonds with a Senior Loved One

By Rick Cohen, 9:30 pm on

As aging parents and loved ones find activities of daily living difficult to complete, it is common for their adult children to take on the role of caregiver. While caregiving can be a loving and rewarding experience, the role reversal can sometimes weaken the relationship between the caregiver and the care recipient as a result of stress, anxiety and overall concern. As a premier Milwaukee in-home care provider, we believe it is important for adult children to maintain their role as family members, not just caregivers, and always emphasize the importance of continuing to create new bonds, even into a senior’s golden years.

Studies report that senior adults who have strong connections with their family members enjoy many positive physical and emotional benefits such as enhanced mood, higher cognitive functioning and faster recoveries from illnesses and surgeries. Additionally, seniors have a wealth of experiences that can serve as a resource for younger family members. For those who are looking for some fun and innovative ways to strengthen their bonds with a senior loved one, the following ideas can encourage multi-generational interaction that will benefit every member of the family.

  • Record Their Life Story
    As seniors advance in age, they often look to the past and recount experiences that shaped their life. Recording these stories will not only create a valuable piece of family memorabilia, but it will also allow every member of the family to learn more about their history. When recording a senior loved one’s life story, encourage other family members to share their favorite experiences, such as a holiday memory or the time they learned a new skill together, to create a multi-generational collection that demonstrates the influential role the senior plays in the family.
  • Play Interactive Video Games
    Family members can encourage their senior loved one to stay active by playing interactive video games together. Many of these games involve using a handheld controller that allows people of varying physical abilities to play together, including stroke survivors as well as seniors who require specialty dementia or Alzheimer’s care. From bowling to tennis, senior adults can enjoy participating in their favorite sports while in the comfort of their home. Video games are also a great way to get younger children and teens to bond with their aging grandparent while sharing an activity they love.
  • Discover a Shared Hobby
    Sharing a hobby or long-range project can help family members to look forward to visiting their senior loved one. Planting a garden, trying new recipes for a family cookbook and woodworking are all hobbies that can be worked on in short increments of time until the project is finished. These types of activities will enable a senior to share their knowledge with family members and friends while developing a stronger sense of purpose and rapport.

If you provide care for aging parents or an elderly loved one and feel overwhelmed by your care responsibility, you can read more about in-home assisted living provided by Home Care Assistance of Milwaukee or contact us directly at 414-964-8000. Care is available on a flexible hourly or live-in schedule, allowing seniors to remain in the comfort of home allowing family members to enjoy respite from caregiving and return to their role as a loving and devoted son or daughter.
Photo Credit: caringnews.com

Forming Stronger Relationships with Elderly Parents & Loved Ones