When it comes to health and healing among the aging population, there are several additions to alternative medicine that many people turn to promote well-being, one of which being the influence of young children. When senior citizens are faced with disease, depression, or limitations, all of these ailments can be mitigated when children get involved in their lives. At UEW Healthcare, our EEOICPA and RECA home healthcare service providers have years of experience in healing and helping the elderly afflicted with terminal or chronic illnesses. We have come to learn that children can play a vital role in the lives of their elderly relatives and the aging population as a whole, and this article delineates a few of the reasons why children should get involved and how parents can help facilitate the process.
Reasons for Getting Children Involved
Children are especially important to help with the aged population because the benefits of their volunteerism not only can affect the people they are helping but can also impact them positively as well. Children who spend time with the elderly often learn the lesson that, despite their young age and their specific contributions, they can make a big difference in people’s lives. Service from a young age often engenders a desire to serve at an older age, too, meaning that children who grew up helping the elderly in different capacities often have a propensity for serving others when they are older.
Another interesting benefit for children as they serve elderly family members or other elderly members of the community is the vast juxtaposition of environments to which they are generally accustomed. Nursing home facilities or even simply the homes of elderly people who are afflicted with certain diseases are often distinctly different from their normal home or school environment. These different, sometimes even uncomfortable, living situations often give young children the ability to adapt and grow in different living circumstances, as long as they are guided by loving instruction, which can help them more easily cope with hard life situations down the road.
Lastly, another reason children are great volunteers for elderly people is that it can substantially help seniors themselves. The influence and visits from children often lift spirits and give the elderly something to look forward to. Child volunteers have the capacity to boost morale and hopefulness in senior citizens, which in turn can improve their immune systems to fight disease and which can help fight the ever-present onslaught of elderly depression.
How to Get Children Involved
Understanding the great benefits that child volunteerism can bring to both the child and the elderly, the following are some of the more popular ideas parents may consider for their children:
- Visit regularly: Whether they are visiting a nursing home or a specific family member, setting children on a consistent, regular cycle to visit the elderly often makes the biggest impact.
- Organize volunteer efforts in nursing homes: Some nursing homes have programs for children to help, but if they don’t, most are open to the community and children organizing easy volunteer efforts they can do on a regular basis, such as helping seniors during game time or simply eating a meal with them.
- Share talents: Children can often share their talents with the elderly, including singing to them, putting on plays, or simply reading books out loud.
- Get to know their relatives: Getting to know their elderly relatives as family members may include doing fun interviews with them or sharing life stories.
- Get involved in family genealogy: Making family history a focal point of visits with the elderly can help children feel connected to all of their family, which helps strengthen familial bonds both now and when they get older.
- Find a need: If there are certain individuals your children visit that have particular needs, you can search these out and be the means of bringing them to the elderly.
You Can Make the Difference
Children, often with the help of their parents or guardians, can begin to feel the positive influence of volunteering in their own lives and the lives of those they help. Their efforts may be simple, but the impact they have is great. And remember, if your elderly loved one receives EEOICPA and/or RECA benefits, call us at UEW Healthcare and Four Corners Health Care for free home health services.