It’s a basic human need to feel loved and appreciated. While it’s true of people of all ages, that need becomes even more important as we age. Everyone leads such busy lives these days, that we can easily fall out of touch with each other. But it’s important to remember that seniors want to feel like they are valued and important in the lives of their families.
It’s easy to show your loved one that you care. It really doesn’t take much to remind them of how important they are to you. There’s no need to focus on grand gestures – it’s all those little, everyday things you do that matter the most. Here are a few simple ways you can connect with your loved ones and truly show them how much you appreciate them.
1. Plan a special outing
When it comes to showing someone how important they are to you, there’s nothing quite like spending quality time together. That could mean regular visits where you work on crafts together, have a cup of coffee and chat, or watch a movie together.
You can also venture out of the house together for something a little more special. Take them out for lunch or dinner at a favourite restaurant, go shopping together, or visit a favourite outdoor spot. Another great idea is to cook them a meal, focusing on a special dish you know they love.
2. Make them a personalized gift
If you really want to show your loved one how much they mean to you, make them a special gift. It could be anything, from a little trinket you know they would enjoy, to a framed photo of the family. One idea we especially love is to create a scrapbook filled with shared memories. It’s a great opportunity to get to know more about them as you do a little research to fill up your scrapbook. Better yet, you can collect all the photos, letters, and other little mementos you want to include and then fill the scrapbook together.
3. Ask them to share a story with you
One of the best things you can do to ensure your loved one feels appreciated is to simply listen to them. Our elders have years of stories to tell! It’s fun for them to be able to share parts of their past with you and it’s also a great chance for you to learn a little bit more about them and see the world through their eyes. Not to mention that you’ll probably get some pretty amazing advice from someone with a whole lot of life experience. So pay attention – you’ll definitely learn something!
4. Pick up the phone
A simple phone call can mean the world to the person on the other end. (Stevie Wonder wrote a whole song about it – “I Just Called to Say I Love You.”) It’s a nice feeling to know that someone was thinking of you and just wanted to hear your voice.
Whether it’s a long talk or just a quick chat to catch up, a phone call is a great way to show your loved one that you care. You can schedule a standing phone date, so they know when to expect your call and can make sure they’re around to talk. It’s a great way to ensure you’re both filled in on what’s going on in each other’s lives and you’re much less likely to forget when you make it a regular thing.
5. Don’t forget to just say it every now and then
This is perhaps the simplest thing of all. If you want to make sure your loved one understands how much you appreciate them, just tell them! Simply remembering to tell them how you feel is really all it takes. It’s as simple as a “thank you” when they give you some good advice, or making sure to mention how much you enjoy spending time with them after each visit. Sometimes, that’s all anyone really needs in order to feel valued.
6. Join them in something they love doing
There’s just something extra special about getting to share one of your favorite activities or hobbies with someone you care about. When you’re making plans to spend time with your loved ones, ask them what they would like to do. It could be anything from watching a favorite film together to having them teach you about one of their hobbies.
At Bria Communities, we welcome friends and family members of our residents. The spaces are designed to encourage loved ones to come visit and have fun. Whether it’s spending some quiet time together over a cup of coffee in their suite, or joining in on one of the events or group activities that are always happening, we encourage our residents to bring their loved ones in and be a part of the community.