Did you know that while the professional and community caregiving population is going down, the number of the aging population is growing rapidly? Before 2020, people aged 65 and older is predicted to outnumber children under the age of 5. This is the first time in human history.
By the year 2050, the 65+ population is expected to be more than double the world’s youngest citizens. This is because the people living to over 80 is expected to triple over the next 30 years. Now more than ever, we need things like the Ready to Care Mission which inspires people to become community caregivers and help the elderly in our communities.
This post is sponsored by Ready to Care Mission. Opinions are my own.
As my mom and other older relatives are aging, I have realized that it is important to check in on them. I have been very fortunate to know that my mom is able to care for herself and is healthy, but as with all of us, there will be a time where she needs someone to help her with tasks. My grandmother is 90-years-old and can no longer live on her own, so my aunt is now living with her to provide care. It makes me wonder about other seniors who might not be so fortunate to have a loved one who can care for them full-time.
What is the Ready to Care Mission?
Ready to Care is a movement that is designed to inspire people to become community caregivers. Using weekly text messages, Ready to Care Mission wants to provide inspiration, care tips, and missions. Home Instead started sharing these free initiatives in 2018 and created an online community with comments and social media for everyone to share their experiences. The goal is to address common aging issues, like nutrition, isolation, dementia, mobility, health, and safety.
Ready to Care wants everyone to make the world a better place for older adults and future seniors and to help others realize that there is more power in “we” than there is in “me”. Working together, we can increase the world’s capacity to care for our global aging village.
Become a Ready to Care community member: Ready to Care community members receive weekly text messages that offer care tips and missions anyone can accomplish, whether you put down your phone and say “Hi” to a senior or help with yardwork. Working together, we can help increase the world’s capacity to care for older adults.
Ways to Get Involved:
There are many ways to get involved with the Ready to Care movement. Some people have more time to give than others, but no matter how tight your schedule is, there is always a way to get involved. Simple things taking the time to say “Hi” to a senior. It is small things like looking up from a phone and taking time to say hello to someone can make a difference. For people who can spare more time, while cutting your grass, maybe there is an elderly neighbor that could use a hand with their yard work. Even just asking for advice can be special to a senior. Ask for career advice and give that person a chance to share their life experience.
Since April 2018, there have been more than 1000 care missions completed by the community. Ready to care offers simple acts of caring that anyone, no matter the age or the time, generally can accomplish.
Fact: As the number of people in our community age, the more people who will need help. That means, that someday, it could be anyone one of us who is that person who needs help. By creating a community that is giving, learning and serving, we are inspiring future generations to continue caring for the senior community.
Take “The Gratitude Challenge” Care Mission
Today is a great day to get started on a Care Mission so why not join me. On November 19th, Take the Gratitude Challenge. This is one of the simple care missions for anyone. The challenge is to thank three people who you are grateful to have in your life, with at least one of them being a senior. Then complete an act of kindness for someone. That’s it.
This is the time of year to remember what you are grateful for and you and your kind words can be what someone else is grateful for. It is the little things. Some community members might make extra when they are making dinner. Just by taking that extra to a senior relative or neighbor can make the difference in their day. It makes you feel good too.
Today, we are planning on making brownies for a couple of our elderly neighbors who live alone. It will be a good opportunity to talk to my 10-year-old about the importance of helping the elderly. We can bake together, and then bring these sweet treats to neighbors who might not otherwise get many visitors, and find out if there is anything else we can do for them. I know by bringing by a treat, and spending a few minutes just catching up, it will bring a smile to their faces, and to ours too. We have also signed up to deliver Thanksgiving meals to the elderly in our community later this week.
Other Easy Ways to Get Involved:
- 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
You can start preparing for upcoming Care Missions as well.
December 3rd’s Care Mission is all about baking. It is time to Bake Your Heart out. Holiday baking is a tradition for many people this time of year. Why not bake up an extra dozen cookies for a senior relative or neighbor or even invite them over to bake with you. Many seniors might not be up to the task of baking for themselves. According to the CDC, in 2013-2015, nearly half of all people over the age of 65 were diagnosed with arthritis. Many times, this can limit mobility and make things that were once wonderful hobbies, like baking, more difficult. Also, the Christmas season can cause people to feel lonely. According to the National Institute of Health, 43% of people over the age of 60 felt lonely. Baking together is a great way to help someone who might not be able to do it all by themselves anymore and will brighten someone’s day as you enjoy each other’s company. If baking isn’t exactly your thing either, why not host a gingerbread or cookie decorating party.
December 10th Care Mission is to be a Santa to a Senior®. Buy a gift for a senior who might not be getting a gift otherwise. In 2003, the Home Instead Senior Care® network started partnering with local non-profit and community organizations to help find seniors who might not be receiving a gift over the holiday season. Working with local businesses and retail stores, Home Instead Senior Care® helps to facilitate the purchase and distribution of gifts by placing trees and ornaments at different locations. Each senior’s gift requests are written on a Be a Senior Santa bulb. Since the beginning of the program, there have been over 1,200,000 gifts to seniors. With the help of 60,000 volunteers distributing gifts, 7000,000 seniors have had brighter holidays.
Be a Santa to a Senior in 5 Easy Steps
- Find a participating Be a Santa to a Senior location.
- Remove a bulb with a senior’s gift request from the tree.
- Purchase the requested gift(s) listed on the bulb.
- Place bulb and unwrapped gift(s) in the designated box.
If a Be a Santa to a Senior tree isn’t near you, consider contacting another organization in your community dedicated to helping seniors during the holidays.
Local sites are also looking for volunteers to collect, wrap, and deliver gifts. Visit the Be a Santa to a Senior website to see if there’s a volunteer opportunity near you.
It only takes a small effort to make someone’s day better. Reach out to the seniors in your community. Simple things like completing a Care Mission or even just bring a meal to someone can make a big difference.
I’d love to hear your plans for helping the elderly in your community. Please share in a comment below!