Art of Aging: Comfort Keepers

 

We’ve got Russ and Leslie Knopp from Comfort Keepers who help thousands of older Americans live more independently in Northern Michigan. So tell me a little about the seniors in your lives so that they are not feeling sad and lonely this time of year?

I think one of the most important things is to just be aware of it and take the time to find out how to involve those seniors in your life and activities.

One of the best things you can do is involve them in the planning whether it’s over the phone or in person.

Getting them out to events is really important too.

I think it’s really important to indulge yourself a little bit, go out for a night on the town use one of the local taxi services to get you to and from an event safely.

For people who have family far away, say you are far away from your loved ones, you can’t take them out right now, what are some things you can do.

Well staying in touch again is really important we got great technology that can really assist in that.

A lot of people are used to facetime and video calls and we use this tablet at comfort keepers that basically video chats somebody with one push of a button.

I’m kind of old school, I like to use the mail service still some elderly people like a hard copy of the mail, photographs and remind them of memories that are good to them.

And then there are care takers, they are probably stressed out most times of the year, in this particular time of year even more so. What can they do to make their lives easier?

The main thing I think, I’m experiencing this myself, is to change your expectations, don’t expect yourself to put on the great big feast and for everything to be just perfect and beautiful and all that because that’s not really what matters. What matters is what people remember, the memories they made that day.

So I think just giving yourself a break is a really important thing to do.

And then when the holidays are over, a lot of us get the blues, it’s been this great build up and then it is just kind of a letdown some times.

So what are some things you can do to make it so the seniors in your lives don’t get down?

Create some expectations for yourself for that loved one to learn something new in the new year.

Learn a new skill, one of those computer lessons you have been putting off or taking a yoga class, but look forward to something in the new year.

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