Dr. Marion Somers
When seniors visit either your home or office, they appreciate or may need special consideration.
If someone has a hearing aid, sometimes it is kind to ask them which side they want you to sit while you are interacting with them.
The home: If there are going to be a lot of people at the gathering then name tags, using first names only, might be helpful as a memory jogger for the senior. The white tags that are self-adhesive and the name printed in black bold ink pen works well. This helps orient the individual to the people in the room and the seniors are spared the potential embarrassment of not remembering names.
Before guests arrive, while in the planning stage, ask are there any foods that someone might be allergic to or if they have allergies regarding pets.
When sitting with a senior, it is best to look at them directly, which helps them focus on your features and who you are. When in a gathering, stating my name and how that person might know me by simply saying “We met at such and such party last year” helps the senior remember. Or stating my name and our relationship.
As the host or hostess, its wise to orient the senior, in a discrete way, where the different rooms are and gently noting where the toilet facilities are.
If food is being served, volunteer to get a plate for them and fill it with their requests. It is often difficult for someone who has walking or balance issues, to carry a plate, a beverage and then try to maneuver into a seat.
Having some comfort items available, just in case they are needed, might include, a blanket, a lap throw, a shawl or something that could be draped across their shoulders. A soft and supportive pillow for their lower back if needed.
At the office: When seniors or anyone that maybe physically, or emotionally challenged comes to the office a few items to have available can make a visit more comfortable, a handheld magnifying glass, water, the offering of other beverages, a warm throw for over the knees, or a shawl to throw over the shoulders to ward off drafts. Have restroom keys visually available and clearly marked should the visitor need the restroom.
Small accommodations, states to your guests that you are thinking about them and their needs.