Volunteering in the community is something that many people do to give back, feel good about themselves, and make an impact on others. While you may participate in a variety of volunteer opportunities in your child’s school, your house of worship, your work, and other locations, you may not think about including your parent in these volunteer opportunities. Both you and your parent might think that volunteering is something for younger people or that their challenges and limitations keep them from truly being able to be a beneficial and effective. This, however, is not the case. In truth, volunteering can be one of the most beneficial and meaningful activities that your parent can engage in, and taking on these roles can make a tremendous positive impact on their quality of life as they age.
Of course, it is important to evaluate all volunteer opportunities and your parent’s health, condition, and any challenges to ensure that they choose an option that is safe and meaningful for them. Some things to keep in mind when considering whether your parent should get involved in a particular volunteer opportunity include:
- Transportation. If your parent needs to attend meetings or go to a different location to volunteer, they need to be able to get there. A homecare provider can be a valuable resource in this situation.
- Physical ability. Consider the physical needs of the volunteer role and if your parent has the ability to safely and effectively fulfill those needs. Talk to a director of the program or opportunity and determine what types of activities your parent will need to do and if there are alternatives or ways to modify them to make them more accessible for your senior. Remember that there are plenty of opportunities that require little physical activity, such as listening to young children read to boost their confidence or socializing with pets that are up for adoption.
- Cognitive functioning. If your parent is struggling with memory loss or other cognitive functioning decline, certain volunteer opportunities might be difficult for them. They must be able to understand what they are supposed to be doing and how to do it in order to fulfill the role safely and effectively. This does not mean, however, that they have no options if they are struggling with these needs. Instead, they might need to consider other options. For example, many seniors with cognitive functioning decline are still able to do crafts and activities that they enjoyed when they were younger. Look for organizations that accept these types of crafts. For example, if your senior crochets or knits, they can make hats or blankets for preemie babies or for those in the hospital for extended stays.
If your senior has recently been diagnosed with a new health challenge or condition, their needs have increased, or you simply feel that they would benefit from more diversified care, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting homecare for them. A homecare provider can step in to supplement the care that you give, fulfill tasks that you cannot fulfill or that you or your parent are uncomfortable with you managing, and enhance your senior’s lifestyle with companionship and increased independence and autonomy. This means that your senior can enjoy a more fulfilling lifestyle and you can focus on your own well-being as well throughout your care journey with them. These services can include everything from safe and reliable transportation to meal preparation to assistance with activities of daily living to mobility support and more.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering homecare in Medford, NJ, please contact the caring staff at TLC Home Care Services today. Call (856) 234-8700 for more information.
Kelly C. McCabe is a founding partner and co-owner of TLC HomeCare Services.She and her business partner,Patti Maltese founded TLC HomeCare Services in March of 2009.In addition to management, marketing and sales, staffing and recruiting, Kelly holds her New Jersey producer’s license in Health and Life insurance and is also a New Jersey Certified Home Health Aide.Kelly is the proud mother of two daughters and is a resident of Moorestown, NJ.