The Bible tells us that grey hairs are glorious crowns earned in a righteous life. We are to treat our elders with respect, admiration, and consideration. Unsure of how to best care for the elderly in your life? Here are just a few ways you can give back to the crown-wearing seniors in your community.
It may seem like the obvious choice, but the best way to give back to the elderly is to meet their basic needs. Research local shelters, food banks, and church pantries in your area. Many of the usual attendees at soup kitchens, community outreach programs, and food drives are senior citizens. Not every aging individual has the blessing of family and loved ones to check in on and provide for them. Volunteer at events, offer to make deliveries, or provide donations when you do your own weekly shopping.
Basic necessities span further than groceries. If you’re looking to create a care package for an elderly neighbor or loved one, consider the items you use on a daily basis. House cleaning supplies, personal care items, and toiletries are daily needs that are often overlooked. Put together a gift basket of soaps, lotions, and other self-care items to encourage pampering and relaxation. Purchase an NIV large print Bible for them to have access to the word without straining to read the traditional small print.
Meals and Wheels
One of the greatest gifts you can give to others is the gift of your time. Offer to cook a homemade meal or pick up a takeout order to enjoy together. Spend time listening to their life’s stories, their children and grandchildren’s accomplishments, or their former careers. Conversation over a meal reminds them that their lives hold value, and can be the highlight of their week. A few hours of your day could be the greatest moments of their entire month. Make room to truly invest in time together and share parts of your own life. Intergenerational relationships are mutually beneficial.
For many seniors, transportation can be hard to come by. While some communities offer ride services or shuttles, not every senior feels confident to rely on them. For those who may feel insecure or concerned over using a public service, offer to provide a ride for their errands. Take them to their doctors appointments, community events, pharmacy runs, or wherever else they need to be. Suggest carpooling to service on Sundays so they know they always have a way to get to church. If they’re unable to travel, assist them in finding the help they need. A simple search like “in-home care provider in Beaverton, OR” or “home care near me” should give plenty of results with reviews from current and previous clients.
Sun and Snow
Whatever the season, there’s always upkeep needed for home maintenance. Some seniors will choose to live out their golden years in their homes despite poor health or declining strength. The emotional connection to their home outweighs the need for assistance. If there are elderly members of your communities who don’t have family nearby, offer to help with these responsibilities.
Shovel snow in the winter, weed their walkways in the spring, water their lawn in the summer. Ask that they provide you with a list of needs or wants in advance so you can add it to your schedule or recruit friends to help. For many of these aging men and women, their home is their primary view day in and day out. Make that view a clean, pleasant landscape for them to take in and admire. Whatever method you pursue to care for the elders of your community, they’ll be touched that someone cared enough to want to help.