Thanks to improved health care and other societal advances, older people are living more productive, well-rounded lives. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 4.5 million older adults volunteer for programs that benefit every sector of society. They represent an increasing percentage of the U.S. population. In fact, the Census Bureau projects that older adults (age 65 and up) will outnumber children (under 18) by 2034.
While older people are clearly an important demographic of our society, they are often overlooked. Here are some ways you can reach out to the older adults in your life, according to the senior care provider Vista Prairie:
Take them out to a favorite restaurant. If you’re on a budget, ask about a senior discount.
Share stories. If they have a journal or photo album, this is a great way to kick off a life story. Reminiscing helps strengthen relationships and preserve family histories. Ask if you can record the conversation.
Play board games. Board games aren’t just a source of entertainment. They’re also a great way to stimulate the mind. Find a game that everyone enjoys so you can involve family and friends of all ages.
Volunteer for an elder care organization. Volunteering doesn’t necessarily require a major time commitment. It can be as simple as signing up to deliver a meal through Meals on Wheels.
Ask them to teach you a new skill. Not all seniors spend their days crocheting. They may have a talent or skill you never knew about.
Reach out to the older adults in your life. It might help you more than it helps them.