How Helping Older Adults Benefits All of Us 

Sometimes, offering assistance to others proves easier said than done. This challenge can become particularly pronounced when it comes to aiding older adults. Whether it’s due to an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality or the postponement of a promised phone call to check on a grandparent, these intentions often linger unfulfilled. 

However, have you considered the broader benefits that come from supporting older adults? Not only does lending a helping hand benefit them, but it also positively impacts others, including yourself. 

Today, we’re exploring several ways you can assist the older adults in your life and the advantages of those actions for everyone involved. 

What You Can Do to Help Older Adults 

You can still certainly make that phone call you’ve had on your to-do list, but there are several other actions you can take to show older adults you love and appreciate them, including: 

  • Offering to run errands for them or take them with you to complete their shopping tasks. 
  • Spending quality time together doing activities they enjoy. 
  • Taking them to medical appointments. 
  • Preparing meals together. 
  • Assisting with any necessary home maintenance needs. 
  • Offering emotional support when they need a shoulder to lean on. 
  • Encouraging them to participate in community events. 
  • Advocating for their needs, especially in healthcare settings. 
  • Helping them stay current with technology. 

6 Ways Assisting Older Adults Helps Everyone 

Helping older adults provides obvious benefits to them, but it’s also advantageous to you—and society as a whole—for several reasons, including: 

#1 Promoting Intergenerational Connections 

Consider the advantages of having an older relative live with you or visit your house regularly. Not only do you become a reliable source of companionship for them, you’ll also facilitate the bonding of multiple generations under one roof. Your children can learn valuable lessons from the wisdom of their grandparents or older relatives, while the older adults can gain fresh perspectives from younger generations, fostering stronger intergenerational connections. 

#2 Reducing the Burden on Caregivers 

If multiple members of your family come together to support the older adults in your life, consider the collective impact you could have. Instead of placing the burden of caregiving solely on one individual, the responsibility would be shared among many, enabling everyone to spend quality time with their loved ones while also preventing feelings of burnout commonly associated with caregiving. 

#3 Enhancing Community Engagement 

When elderly individuals are supported and appreciated by their families, they often feel a sense of purpose. Keeping in touch with loved ones can motivate them to engage in activities outside of a familial setting, such as volunteering or joining community gatherings. This allows them to interact with people beyond their family circle, forming friendships and connections with others who have an interest in broadening their social network. 

#4 Preserving Wisdom and Experience 

When was the last time you sat down to talk to someone with a few extra decades of life experience? You’d be amazed at the wisdom and knowledge they possess and are often more than happy to share with you. By engaging in meaningful conversations with older adults, you can preserve their memories, honor their life experiences and learn from their wisdom. 

#5 Reducing Healthcare Costs 

By assisting your elderly family members in managing their medications and encouraging them to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle, you can significantly reduce the risk of falls and other health-related injuries. This proactive approach to their health may decrease the likelihood of future medical interventions and the need for long-term care services. Your support not only benefits them directly but also alleviates the financial strain on healthcare insurers and yourself. 

#6 Making Lasting Memories 

As much as we may wish for our family members to be with us indefinitely, we understand that they won’t be here forever. That’s why it’s crucial to seize the opportunity to create memories while they are still with us. From embarking on weekend getaways to celebrating each family member’s birthday, you can strengthen your family bond while creating cherished memories that everyone can look back on with fondness. 

You Can Make a Difference in Your Professional Life, Too 

Between 2009 and 2019, the number of Americans aged 60 and older increased by 34%, jumping from 55.7 million to 74.6 million. By 2040, the number of adults who are 65 and older is expected to surpass 80.8 million. This significant population of older adults will need passionate and experienced individuals to help them gracefully move through the next phase of their lives. 

Whether you’re interested in becoming a geriatric nurse, a patient representative for older adults or another role related to the field of aging, the University of Florida offers several online graduate credentials that can help you achieve your professional aspirations, including: 

All of our programs offer several benefits to virtual learners, including: 

  • Entirely online courses. 
  • The flexibility to complete your work when it’s convenient to you. 
  • Year-round start dates. 
  • No GRE requirement. 
  • Affordable tuition. 

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can! Once you’re ready to take the first step, apply to the program that’s right for you