#GetKind: Helping older friends and neighbors

#GetKind

We know that sometimes, our supporters are inspired to make the world a bit more kind – but aren’t sure about the next steps. What’s the best way to help? What should I be doing?  The new #GetKind program is here to help! Each month, we will have a new theme to inspire your kindness quotient. Please use the hashtag #GetKind so we can share these great ideas, all year long!

In January, Random Act’s #GetKind theme was hunger and in February, helping our furry, winged and scaled friends.  Last month, we talked about how to help our neighbors and community at large.  For April, the #GetKind topic is how to help the elderly.

Older friends and neighbors are a huge part of our community.  Whether retired at home, living in a community, or as part of an extended family, the elderly are fantastic resources for all of us.  In many cases, they are a living link to our history; they were business owners, teachers, veterans and community leaders.   Now, it’s our turn to give back!

Here are a few ideas for how you might be able to help the older people in your community:

  • Going on a grocery run?  Ask if your neighbor needs anything from your trip.
  • Spend time with the elderly members of the community.  Read, do crafts, bake — something interactive that can be enjoyed together.
  • Make getting around easier. Do you see a ramp that could use a little work or cleaning? A pathway that could be shoveled or swept? Unsteady feet lead to falls.
  • Keep active! Taking a walk outdoors or around a mall helps keep bone density up and mobility better. Help your local elderly get to a place where they can walk on flat ground and/or go for a walk with them.
  • Does your local senior center need some fresh supplies? Collect books/puzzles/fabric/yarn for arts and craft projects.
  • Get your pet certified and visit centers and hospitals. Animals can draw out people and help them recall one of their favorite pets from years past.
  • Adopt a grandparent. Even if you have the full compliment, your kids still have a lot to learn and a lot to give to a senior and they have a lot to give to your family.
  • Help to arrange a coffee meeting at your place of worship or community center.  A weekly meeting can serve as something to look forward to each week.
  • Writing a simple a letter to a neighbor can make them feel special.  Offer to help with chores that might be to strenuous (like vacuuming) or weeding the garden.
  • Remember to check on less mobile community members during floods, earthquakes, blackouts and heat waves.   Do they need a hand preparing or getting somewhere safe?
  • Think about the different supplies your senior center or local nursing home might need.  Warm fuzzy socks with non-skid tread, house coats, or sweaters might be worth collecting as a service project.   Small gifts can be used a bingo prizes.
  • No money? Volunteer to play cards, read books or hold someone’s hand.  Are you good at doing nails?  Volunteer to give manicures.
  • Are you a good writer?  Artist?  Ask your new friends about when they were growing up, and write down or draw their story.
  • Music is universal.  Are you part of a choir who can perform for your community center?  Can you lead a karaoke night?   Someone who might otherwise be shy might have a hidden talent for song.

What are your talents, and how can those help our older community members? How do you #GetKind? Check out our social media channels and tell us about your plans.

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