Sometimes older people can be fierce about maintaining their independence - some would say downright stubborn. But it is hard to give up taking care of oneself and give the reins over to someone else. It can diminish their spirits to depend on others to do tasks they used to do so easily.

How can you help without taking away their independence?

Following are five ideas from the e-book, “Ways to Change the World" Use them to stir up your own ideas. Let's keep our seniors involved in life - they are a valuable commodity!

  • If you have an old computer that still works, take it to an elderly person.
    • Teach them how to operate it to send and receive email. Give them a connection to the world.
    • What a great way to keep them connected to their family and friends who are probably online too.
    • Their kids and grandkids will think they are so cool and be so impressed that they mastered the computer!
    • Become an E-mail Pen Pal with them yourself


  • Help someone around the house who is elderly or sick. You could:
    • Help them repaint the interior of their home. Change is as good as a holiday, and since we can’t holiday at the moment with the COVID-19 crisis, this could be a good opportunity for you both.
    • Help them in the garden. Gardening stores are still open, and the rush for supplies should be well and truly over. Why not help them plant fresh plants.
    • Help mow the lawn. If you are unable to physically do it, why not help them by hiring a gardener for them.
    • Take out and bring in the wheelie bin. Some of our older family members have driveways that are not entirely safe or easy to navigate with the bin.
    • Just look around. You'll be able to discover what needs to be done.
    • If there is an extensive list of things to do, enlist the help of a couple other people - take a lunch along and make it a party! Your loved one will appreciate the help and the company.


  • Take daily walks with an older neighbour who doesn't feel comfortable or safe going out on their own. Exercise will help keep them mobile and keep their spirits up, too. And you may just learn tidbits of history and wisdom from their perspective.


  • Birds are always a delight to watch for those who are homebound.
    • Take over a bird feeder and keep it filled with birdseed.
    • Birds can be fun to watch. Keep their feeder filled with seed for hours of entertainment!


  • Help them decorate for the holidays.
    • They often miss out on the fun of holidays because they aren't able to handle the traditions and decorations. Yet they usually have boxes of items that made their holidays special over the years. Make sure you return to put them all away!
    • Another option is to help make decorations for the holidays. Craft time can be fun and you get to spend time with them as well as being able to admire the finished products.


There you have it - five simple ways to make a difference in an older person's life. All you have to do is make the decision to help and then do it. It's just that simple!

Use these tips to change your world, one kindness at a time.