Is There A Way Elderly Women can Feel Useful Again? I Need Suggestions.

This week one of my patients, an elderly woman in her 80’s, told me how useless she feels. This isn’t the first time I heard someone tell me that. Usually it is a woman used to a lifetime of being very busy around the house. Now they can’t walk without a walker, they need someone to clean their house, and they get their meals from Meals-on-Wheels. Arthritis, balance problems, general debility keeps them from being able to do the kinds of things that were always part of their life.

Some of these women live with their children. They see their daughters rushing around trying to balance work life with home life, a home that includes an aging parent. The patient I talked with this week said she used to help out by often cooking dinner for her daughter and son-in-law. Now she can’t.

I honestly don’t know what to tell these women. I encourage them to do things like folding laundry but that just doesn’t seem like enough to them. My heart breaks for them. Everyone wants to feel useful. I did get one woman to crochet squares that she gave to a charity organization. The squares would be joined, made into an afghan, and be given to someone in need.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how incapacitated elderly women can still feel useful? What can they do to help their families? I’d especially be interested in hearing from anyone who has lived with an elderly parent or grandparent. I’d love to be able to compose a list of suggestions that I can give to the women or their families of activities they can participate in. So please help me out if you can.

Explore posts in the same categories: nursing

2 Comments on “Is There A Way Elderly Women can Feel Useful Again? I Need Suggestions.”

  1. Sharon Says:

    Reading books for the blind on tape. Contact any local chapter of services for the Blind.

  2. Sharon Says:

    Offer to be a liason for a home care agency on the Professional Advisory Board. They always need patients to give a voice on their perspective.

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