Do you work in a senior living community? Perhaps you have an elderly family member you visit often. Maybe you’re just looking for ways to connect with someone outside of your normal social circle. Whatever the case may be, bonding with the elderly can seem like a daunting task. They’ve lived a lot longer than you have! They’ve seen things and done things that you can only imagine. Also, they may not be as mobile or mentally sharp as they once were. So how do you connect with someone in this stage of life?
Here are 4 tips for bonding with the elderly.
Talk About Their Interests
One sure way to connect with someone is to find common ground in interests. What are their interests? What are they passionate about? Do they have any hobbies? Talking about things that they’re interested in will help you bond with them and give you a better understanding of who they are as a person.
So take a look around their living space. Do they have any pictures or knick-knacks that reveal anything about their interests? If not, simply ask them! They’ll be happy to share what they love with you.
Listen to Their Stories
The elderly have a lot of stories to tell. If you take the time to listen, you’ll be amazed at what you learn. What was their childhood like? What was it like during different historical events that they lived through? What are some of the funniest moments from their life?
Picture yourself sitting around a campfire, listening to someone spin a tale. It’s the same concept! The stories may be even more exciting than those you hear at a campfire. They’ll give you an appreciation of where they came from and what their life has been like.
Play Games With Them
Games are not just for kids! Playing games is an easy way to bond with someone, regardless of their age.
There are all sorts of games you can play, from card games and board games to word games and memory games. Keep in mind that not all games have to be competitive. Cooperative games are a great way to promote teamwork and bonding.
And if you’re not sure what sorts of games the elderly person you’re trying to connect with would like, just ask.
Do Something Nice for Them
One simple way to bond with someone is to show them that you care by doing something for them. This could be something as simple as running an errand for them or doing a chore around their house. Maybe they need help getting to and from doctor’s appointments.
Think about what this particular elderly person might need or want and then do your best to provide it. They’ll be touched by your thoughtfulness and feel closer to you.
Bonding with the elderly may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Just follow these four simple tips and you’ll be well on your way to making a genuine connection.