The Importance of Support Systems for Seniors
by Michelle Kicherer of www.bananapitch.com
Support systems for seniors are important. Humans are social creatures. We crave interaction with like-minded people. We thrive when we are surrounded by folks we love and who care about us. It is important for us all to have an active support system: several people (whether in related groups or individuals) with whom we feel comfortable sharing our time, personal endeavors and our struggles, and who provide to us practical and emotional support. Whether we are having good times or bad, these people are there: to cheer us up; to think about us; to ask how we’re doing; to help us with life’s chores; to talk, to be honest with us; and just to be there.
As people age, these systems tend to shrink: people move; people age and pass away; people are isolated in assisted living facilities or places that make it difficult to visit with or talk with others.
Think about the aging adults in your life. Do they have a support system? Who are the people around them that are supportive, good friends? Though sometimes these conversations can be hard, ask the aging adults in your life who their friends are – and if it seems they do not have a support system, or if it is very small: figure out a way to grow it.
One of the quickest ways to meet people and maintain friendships is to have a weekly or daily activity group. Ask what they enjoy doing and help find a way to get them to their support systems and activities. Loneliness and depression are very prevalent in older adults. Take some time out of your day to make sure your aging parents, friends, or relatives have a support system and some cheer. Remember: bringing happiness to others brings happiness to you.