Community Blog

How to Help Your Elderly Parent Get Involved

By Erin Carll

Elderly Care in Pittsburgh PA

Community is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as a feeling of fellowship with others as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. As people age, their social circle diminishes, be it from retiring from a long-held job, or the passing or moving of friends and family members. Loss of vision or hearing, even driving privileges, can compound the sense of isolation. The kids have left home and your parent is now faced, maybe for the first time in many years, with a very quiet home and themselves as the only inhabitants. As bleak as this may sound, there are many ways to build a sense of community for your aging parent. They may even begin to appreciate the peace and quiet when they return home after a busy day socializing.

Transportation

Between kids and jobs and social events, you lead a busy life, making it difficult to be your parent’s taxi service. The American Disabilities Act says that a town providing public transportation service must provide a complimentary service for people with disabilities. If your parent is no longer driving, due to decreased sensory or cognitive faculties, they will likely be eligible for this service.

There are also ridesharing services with volunteer drivers that cater to the elderly. The National Transit Hotline is a good resource for federally funded transportation and they can inform you if one is in your area.

An in-home elderly care provider can also help a house-bound senior become more active in their community. Taking them on errands, shopping and to special events is one of the many services they offer.

Engage

Depending on where your parent lives, there are several options including community centers, senior centers, religious organizations, weekly farmer’s markets, fitness centers, classes at local community colleges directed toward seniors and events listed in your local newspaper and at your local library. Some of these organizations may provide shared hot lunches, free computer labs and training, various support groups, classes such as dance, arts and crafts, yoga for seniors and events including bingo, evening dinners, and girl’s night out. With so many options, it’s a good idea to sit down with your parent and discuss what peaks their interest.

Maybe your parent hasn’t been a “joiner.” Offer to attend the first outing with them or have their elderly care provider accompany them. This can help break the ice and ease them into social situations that will ultimately lead to a strong sense of community.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Pittsburgh, PA, please call the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (412) 201-0712.