How to keep your aging parent positive

Like most grandparents, Jane Leep likes to keep tabs on her grandkids. So she's joined the social media world.

If they don't text you, you can see what they are doing on Facebook," Leep said.



Dr. Amber Gum of the University of South Florida agrees that social media is a good way to keep your aging parents connected.

She pointed out that it is important for older adults to keep active as much as they can mentally and physically to combat depression.

"For the caregiver, the question becomes, how can you help that person in the process?" Gum said.

She said that starts by asking your parents a few questions, such as "What gives meaning to your life?" "What would you like to do more of that would bring meaning to your life?" and "How can I help you make that happen?"

Gum advises caregivers to look for activities that can stimulate the mind and spirit of their aging parents.

"It might be prayer, meditation, reading, listening to inspirational recordings," Gum said.

Terry Taylor is a resident at the University Village Retirement Community in Tampa. She says painting has become a beneficial mental and creative outlet for her and other residents where she lives.

"It gives them something to look forward to," Taylor said. "Something that they've created."