Salamatak – Seniors

After passing the age of 65 years, seniors around us may appear weak and frail. This might create the misconception that they need our constant help. While this is kind, and is in fact a product of our culture; to go out of your way to offer help and support, this might make them feel weak and helpless.

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How to Treat Seniors

When we hear the word “seniors” the first thing that comes to mind is a frail, old person who is unable to take care of themselves. But in reality, a person is considered a senior after the age of 65. At that stage, the individual may still be able to take care of themselves and perform most of the activities they desire without any assistance. Therefore, we must be considerate of their feelings when we offer assistance and not make them feel weak or helpless. To do so, avoid the following:

  • Providing assistance without being asked or without asking for permission first
  • Making decisions for the senior around you such as the food they eat and the clothes they wear
  • Belittling their expertise and their opinions and making them feel irrelevant

How to talk to seniors

Just like we change the way we talk when we talk to children, we have to adjust the way we talk to seniors to avoid hurting their feelings. Here are some phrases you might say to a senior that could be interpreted negatively:


  • “How could you forget? Or how did you not remember this!”

The older people get, the quicker they lose their ability to retain information, especially short-term memories such as forgetting where they left their keys, or important dates


Instead, help them remember in a kind way by using sticky notes to remind them of any important events such as hospital appointments or when to take their medication


  • “I’ve already explained this to you!”

It is difficult for seniors to recall certain things. Some tasks may seem very easy to us but are quite difficult for a senior; like operating a remote.


Instead, try to be patient and re-explain it, and help them if they ask you to.


  • “You’ve already said that… I know, you told me yesterday”

Seniors may repeat themselves more than once due to their poor memory. This repetition can also be caused by loneliness and their longing to talk with their loved ones without having interesting and exciting discussions.


Instead, pretend it’s the first time you’ve heard of the story, interact with them and ask them about its details.


Senior Changes

  • Physical changes: weak or loss of memory, impaired vision, hearing, or senses in general, chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart conditions etc…


  • Social changes: feelings of emptiness and loneliness as a result of their distant children or friends.


  • Psychological changes: feeling depressed, sad, and upset.


  • Economic changes: Income usually decreases as a result of retiring, in addition to possible medical expenses and hospital appointments.

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Salamatak is an awareness program with an authentic Arab spirit that provides health advice and guidance in line with the standards of international health awareness organizations. It aims to elevate society through health and safety awareness in a spontaneous way, and targets healthy people in particular and society in general.

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