Did you know that before 2020, people aged 65 and older are predicted to outnumber children under age 5 for the first time in human history? In fact, those living beyond age 80 are expected to triple over the next 30 years.
Ready to Care
What is even more alarming is the fact that, according to our partner Ready to Care℠, the aging population is growing rapidly, while the population of professional and community caregivers is going down. Not only does this aging crisis affect our parents, but it could affect many of us as well.
Ready to Care is a movement is designed to inspire more people to become community caregivers by providing inspiration via weekly text messages that offer care tips and missions.
With my mom gone, I worry a lot about my dad. He lives alone, has a few health issues that keep us concerned, and my siblings and I check up on him as much as possible. Although he is still very strong and able, it’s our honor to look after him now.
We all track him through apps on our phones and he often texts to let us know he’ll be on the road so that we don’t issue a “Silver Alert.” Although it’s an inside joke to us now, his mom had Alzheimer’s, so it’s very much a reality to us.
The tables will eventually turn for us and our own children as well, therefore we consider it a privilege to be able to continue to care for him. We can only hope our children will feel the same way one day.
But, it doesn’t have to just be family that we look after. Before we moved into our new home, our next door neighbors were an elderly couple that we came to adore.
One morning we woke early to an ambulance outside our home. Running outside, we discovered the husband had suffered a heart attack. After a few days in the hospital he returned home and we made sure to check in on them both daily.
They became surrogate grandparents to our kids and we still keep in touch.
Have you considered ways you could make a difference in the lives of seniors?
From your parents to your neighbors and others you may know, there are many ways you can show you care. The holidays are perhaps the best time to make this season brighter for others.
Ready to Care even has weekly missions to help encourage us all to Give. Learn. Serve.
For example, their first November Care Mission asked us to Volunteer this Season. We volunteered at our church this past weekend packaging over 1,400 Thanksgiving dinners for families in need, many of them elderly.
Learn three ways you can help others.
- Connect with your local Meals on Wheels to volunteer.
- Use Give65.org to find an organization near you that helps seniors.
- Contact your local civic or religious organizations to see how you can get involved. Many operate soup kitchens or food drives this time of year.
In years past, we’ve teamed up with an organization that delivers dinners to the homes of seniors on Thanksgiving morning. Their gratitude is found when you see their faces light up when you bring in their meal. It’s both humbling and rewarding.
Honestly though, we’ve always found that the gift of your time is not only a huge blessing to someone else, but it’s such a gift to yourself as well. It’s just good for the soul!
For example, another care mission simply asks you to thank three people you’re grateful to have in your life, and at least one of them should be a senior. Afterward, complete a random act of kindness for someone else and your mission is complete.
You’ve now brought joy to others while warming your own heart in the process.
In fact, this is going to be our mission over the next week. We’ve bought some “thank you” cards and are even participating in a local restaurant’s “Thankful Night” to make cards for others.
It doesn’t take much to show someone you care.
Ready to Care puts Give. Learn. Serve. at the heart of their mission. Are you ready to do the same?
Here are some easy ways to get started:
- Give. Giving Tuesday is the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, but anytime is a good time to donate to causes that help others.
- Learn. By learning about the challenges that older adults may face, you can be better prepared to help. And while everyone can benefit from a kind gesture, seniors are at greater risk of experiencing things like limited mobility, chronic conditions, or feeling isolated. The more you know, the more you can look out for your senior friends, neighbors, or loved ones.
- Serve. Put your learning into action through small acts of kindness, volunteering, or completing a care mission.
Remember: The power of “we” is greater than “me.”
Join the Ready to Care Movement and learn how, working together, we can help increase the world’s capacity to care for our aging global village.