How Seniors Can Serve Others Without Leaving Home
Most seniors have spent their lifetimes making valuable contributions to their families and communities. Although injury, illness, or mobility challenges may require a senior to spend much of their time at home, the older adult may want to continue experiencing the rewards of serving others. Yet, seniors don't have to leave home to provide a meaningful service. Caregivers can help seniors find service opportunities that fit the senior's skill level. Here's a list of service opportunities the senior you're caring for may be interested in.
Make a Blanket for Those in Need
Seniors who can knit, crochet, or sew can assist the many charitable organizations that seek homemade blankets. For instance, the Greater Oklahoma City chapter of Project Linus gives donated homemade blankets to severely ill and traumatized children. Seniors who aren't skilled with yarn or thread can make a no-sew blanket for an organization like Soldiers' Angels, which accepts new blankets throughout the year. Soldiers' Angels sends blankets to patients in veterans' hospitals and deployed military personnel.
Another much-needed service is writing letters of encouragement and appreciation for military members and first responders. A Million Thanks collects letters from the public to send active-duty military, reservists, and veterans. Operation Gratitude provides the same service for first responders and military members. Since Operation Gratitude also accepts drawings, a senior who no longer writes could get involved by drawing pictures.
Teach Younger Family Members
The knowledge seniors have gained from a lifetime of working or managing a household can quite useful to the younger generations. Does your senior have a younger relative who would be interested in learning a new skill? Perhaps your senior could teach you a thing or two! While seniors can give in-person lessons to visiting loved ones, teaching via video calls is a practical option when regular in-person visits aren't possible.
Preserve Family Memories
Making a keepsake of family memories can be a wonderful service to a senior's family. If necessary, a caregiver can modify this project to suit the senior's skill level. Seniors who write can be encouraged to put family stories or favorite recipes on paper or in a word processing document. An alternative would be for a caregiver to record short videos of the senior telling stories. If the senior isn't able to recall family memories, a home caregiver could help the senior organize family photos to make an album or a collage.
Find Other Ways to Serve
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofits are being intentional about creating volunteer at home opportunities. Some organizations call this remote volunteering or virtual volunteering. Doing an online search for one of those terms can be helpful. Also, AARP has created a database to help individuals find virtual volunteer opportunities.
Caring for a senior who is used to caring for others can be quite overwhelming. If you're having trouble balancing the care of an older relative with your other responsibilities, Senior Helpers of Greater Oklahoma City can help. We proudly serve Greater Oklahoma City, Mustang, Norman, and the surrounding areas. One of our professional home caregivers can give your loved one the attention they deserve.