What Do You Do When Your Elderly Parent Is Bored?
A persistent problem with many people in their so-called Golden Years is boredom. Boredom is an unhelpful and sometimes even an unhealthy state for an older person. If you have a parent who complains about being bored, or if you observe that your mother or father is bored, there are some steps you can take to intervene appropriately in that situation. These include:
- Frequently contact your parent
- Make regular visits to your mother or father
- Consider community resources for your parent
- Take your parent to events or activities
- Consider upping your parent’s tech understanding and use
- Consider hiring an in-home care aide
- Consider transitioning to assisted living
We all experience boredom here and there. The key is to assist your elderly parent from stewing in a bored state a significant amount of the time.
Frequently Contact Your Parent
You can help alleviate or even prevent your parent from being unduly bored by maintaining frequent contact with them. You can encourage other family members to keep in frequent (or at least regular) contact with your mother or father. Frequent contact can be as simple as regular phone calls to your parent.
You might want to consider making a phone call to your mother or father on a daily basis. These do not need to be unduly long conversations, unless there is something that warrants speaking for a more extended period of time.
Make Regular Visits to Your Mother or Father
Another way in which you can keep your parent from becoming unduly bored is to schedule regular visits with them. These can include visits at their home or at your own.
If you live in closer proximity to your mother or father, you can arrange more frequent visits. If you live further away from your parent, you can still arrange regular (reliably scheduled) visits, although they will not occur as frequently.
Consider Community Resources for Your Parent
If you’re an adult child with an older parent who is bored, consider accessing different community resources, activities, programs, and events for your mother or father. For example:
- Local community centers typically have a decent range of different types of programs and activities for older individuals. These include such things as:
- Fitness programs (including well-known options with long track records of working with older people, like SilverSneakers)
- Arts programs that provide seniors with hands-on opportunities
- Lectures on an array of different types of topics
- Enrichment course of different types
- Local organizations established specifically for seniors
- Museums and other cultural destinations
- Senior day centers, venues that allow older people to come together for the day (or part of the day) to engage in different activities in a safe setting
Take Your Parent to Events or Activities
Keeping involved in your parent’s life on a regular basis can be vital to the wellbeing of your mother or father. If you detect your parent is experiencing boredom to some degree, consider taking your mother or father to different events, programs, or activities. You are likely to find that your parent will not be particularly picky about the selection of something or another along these lines. You parent is likely to simply be very pleased to be able to spend at least some time with you.
Consider Upping Your Parent’s Tech Understanding and Use
Consider assisting your parent in becoming more adept at some of the different technologies available in the Digital Communications Age. By doing so, you are likely to be able to significantly reduce the risk of boredom.
There is a myriad of informational, educational, and entertaining resources online that might be a perfect way for your parent to spend some time each week. Communication platforms like Facetime or Zoom might also be prime technology to incorporate into your parent’s life.
Consider Hiring an In-Home Care Aide
If part of the reason why your parent may be bored is because he or she is having difficulty keeping up with some of the basic tasks of daily living. This can happen as a person grows older. If this is the case, consider hiring an in-home care aide who can assist your mother or father with tending to some activities of daily living. This will have the effect of freeing up your parent to do some other things that are more enjoyable.
Consider Transitioning to Assisted Living
Finally, your parent may have reached a juncture in his or her life when a transition into assisted living might be a wise course. Not only can an assisted living community assist your parent with some tasks of day to day living, these centers provide a wide range of activities of different types that can keep your mother or father pleasantly occupied and can keep boredom at bay.