As a family caregiver to an older adult, when you do something that makes your aging relative happy, it probably makes you feel pretty good.
Doing things for others might improve your sense of worth and bring you a sense of joy. Those are feelings that people need at any age, including well into old age. November 23 is Random Acts of Kindness Friday, so it’s the perfect day for caregivers and their aging relatives to spread some joy by committing unexpected acts of kindness.
Need some ideas? Here are 8 random acts of kindness that caregivers and seniors can do together.
#1: Pay for Someone Else’s Meal or Coffee
Take the older adult to a restaurant or coffee shop and pay for the order of the person in line behind you. If your aging relative has mobility problems, this is one you can do without ever getting out of the car—just use the drive-through window.
#2: Leave a Thank You Note
Help your family member to write a thank you note or card for a person who provides regular services, such as the postal carrier. To make it even more fun, create a personalized homemade card.
#3: Take Cookies to the Police or Fire Station
The people who keep us safe do so without expecting any thanks. But, that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve it. Caregivers and seniors can bake a batch of cookies together and then deliver them to the police or fire department to thank the men and women there for all they do to make the community a better place.
#4: Write Letters to Troops
Some military members don’t have a family to send them words of encouragement. Spend some time with your aging relative to write a few letters to service men and women to express your appreciation for their service.
#5: Tape Change to Vending Machines
If you live near a college campus, tape change to the front of vending machines to help a college student purchase a between class snack. College students are always happy to receive free food!
#6: Make a Donation
Pick a favorite local charity and make a donation. It doesn’t have to be money. Caregivers and seniors could collect old towels and blankets to deliver to the local animal shelter. Or, make a snack or meal for the community youth center.
#7: Compliment a Stranger
Spread some happiness by complimenting strangers in a store. Caregivers can challenge seniors to collect more smiles or “thank you’s” than they do.
#8: Leave Encouraging Sticky Notes
Visit some public bathrooms and leave encouraging sticky notes on the mirrors. Write things like, “You’re beautiful!” and “You make the world a better place!”