The Attitude of Gratitude: Easy and Fun Ways to Give Thanks to Seniors This Month
November is all about being thankful and showing gratitude. Expressing appreciation for seniors (and all loved ones) doesn’t have to be limited to Thanksgiving Day. Why not spread the love all month long — or better yet, year round! Sometimes seniors don’t get the appreciation they deserve, so Fellowship Square is sharing simple ways that loved ones can show elders their “attitude of gratitude.”
Give the Gift of Time — For seniors that are confined to a hospital or that are don’t get out and about as much as they used to, time can pass slowly. Simply spending time with them is a wonderful way to show gratitude and this can also help reduce seniors’ feelings of loneliness or sadness.
Express Body Language — Listening intently and making eye contact while elders are speaking are easy ways to show gratitude without even saying a word! These two non-verbal cues show appreciation while letting the senior know that the listener is fully engaged in their story and the conversation.
Ask About the Past — Paying close attention is easier when the senior has center stage to talk about something significant. While some dementia sufferers can’t recall recent memories as well as they used to, their memories of the past are often quite vivid. Caretakers and loved ones should gauge seniors’ abilities to share past memories… but if they seem to recall the past with ease and fondness, then feel free to move full steam ahead with encouraging them to share away!
Offer to Help — Providing a “service” to elders such as washing their car, filling up their gas tank, raking their leaves or taking out the trash might not be a “big deal” to the caregiver or loved one doing the chore or errand, but the gesture can have a lasting feel-good impact on seniors. For those that have trouble getting around or who have chronic physical pain that limits their mobility, these chores can seem insurmountable. So taking on these tasks (without being asked!) is a great way to help a senior while making them feel extra loved, too.
Say “Thank You” — And be specific. For an adult child showing their parent (the senior) some appreciation, he or she could thank the parent for always being so patient as they struggled through homework, or for all times they watched the grandkids, for example. Those two little words can go such as long way in helping show gratitude to a senior. For a non-verbal “thank you,” caretakers can include “gratitude cards” as placeholders at the Thanksgiving table or send a handwritten card that gives thanks.
The best part about having gratitude and showing it to, and for, others is that it is a feel-good scenario for both parties. So don’t hold back! This season, adopt an attitude of gratitude and be “thankful” for the positive effects that being appreciative have on everyone!