rebelling against low expectations

5 Practical Ways to Serve the Elderly In Your Life


Recently, I wrote about how important it is to serve despite any lies the devil might feed us (find that article here). As I pondered the topic more, I thought about the situation the world is in at the moment.

Many of you may be thinking that yes, serving sounds great, but how do I do that now? If the last article covered serving in theory, this one covers one aspect of how to put this into practice.

While we can (and should!) serve anyone in our churches, there is a specific call to help the elderly, and in particular, widows (e.g. James 1:27). Here are five ways you can serve the elderly during the pandemic.

1. Call them.

Serving at its heart is showing that you care even if it means going out of your way to do something for another person. Often, the elderly are lonely people. Now, during this global pandemic, many are even more lonely than usual.

When lockdown started, my family had a rule that each of us calls one older person a day. That worked really well, and it was always encouraging to hear how much a simple ten-minute call meant to them! Set yourself a goal – one call a week, for example – and then stick to it.

2. Listen to them.

Calling them sounds simple, right? It is! It doesn’t take much more than that to make someone’s day. But if we take another look at what serving means, we see that just calling them is not enough. To show how much you care, you have to do more.

Once you have them on the phone, listen to them. Since elderly people have been through a lot more than we have, it’s natural for them to want to share their experiences and life story. And honestly, what better way to learn than through someone’s life?

I know. Sometimes we don’t feel like listening to someone ramble, but guess what? Listening anyway is love at its core. And that is what serving is all about. Click To Tweet

3. Offer to do their shopping.

We’ve all heard the drill: It can be dangerous for the elderly to be out and about because of the coronavirus. One of the easiest ways to practically serve the elderly is to offer to run errands for them. That could mean going shopping or taking something to the post office for them. And practical help doesn’t have to end there.

Do you know someone who has a garden but can’t take care of it? Get some friends together for a gardening day and have a go at fixing it up. Other ideas could be cooking or baking something for them. Your imagination is the limit when it comes to practically serving.

4. Send them a letter or a card.

A while ago, my siblings and I each wrote a letter or made a card for our grandfather. Then, we put it all into an envelope and sent it off. The next time he called, he thanked each of us about ten times for the letters and cards. What took just a little effort on our part made a world of difference to him.

Writing a letter or making and writing a card is one of the best ways to serve the elderly. Why? They can set the card up and read it again and again. And every time they look at it, they are reminded that someone went out of their way to show them that they care.

5. Pray for them.

The most important gift you can give anyone is prayer. Is there anything greater than talking to the King of kings and Lord of lords? Nothing you can ever do for anyone will have more value than an earnest prayer sent to heaven.

So, friend, go serve! For when we are serving, God’s love shines through us.

Check out yesterday’s article for 3 Reasons Teenagers Need Senior Citizen Friends by Sara Willoughby!

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About the author

Sarah Susanna Rhomberg

is a teen who lives in Europe and is fluent in both English and German. When not writing, you will often find her reading or working on the organization of a camp for children – always with a mug of herbal tea at hand. Sarah wants to live her life for Christ and writes to glorify Him. Connect with her through her email list here.

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rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →