You know the days – the days where you wake up on the wrong side of the bed. The days where you wish the chaos of life would slow down a bit so you can catch your breath. The days where, well, you just aren’t you.

Now think of a friend or loved one who is going through a rough patch. How are they feeling? Have you talked to them lately? What could you do to make their day a little brighter?
Statistics from Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand claim that many older people experience depression and it often goes undetected and untreated because they often don’t want to bother their GP about something other than a physical illness.*, it’s important we recognise and act when our loved ones, neighbours, friends and other people in our lives are struggling.

While no one has a magic wand and can fix all of life’s complex problems, there are many ways we can help support those who are feeling down. From a thoughtful card to a funny text message, kindness comes in many forms – and is shown through many expressions and acts.

Here are our 10 suggestions to help an ageing adult who may need some love and support and help brighten up their day:

1. Pick up the phone – We often forget that it’s great to catch up on the phone, and its certainly easier and cheaper to use the phone these days. If you’re not sure what to say to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, write down your favourite memory of them. Then you can ring them up and say, “I was just remembering that time you… and it made me pick up the phone to see how you are.” Memories really are the best conversation starter! Your old friend or family member will really appreciate the gesture.

2. Send a gift card – $10 to their favourite coffee shop or restaurant is a thoughtful gesture that can cheer up their day from zero and make you their hero.

3. Drop off a nice note – Let them know you are thinking of them with a nice, personalised card. Put it in their mailbox, on their door or under the wiper blades of their car. They’ll appreciate the surprise.

4. Give a compliment – Maybe it’s the way they did their hair or how lovely their garden looks. Whatever it may be, just make sure you let them know you noticed.

5. Treat them to lunch – By treating someone to lunch you have the wonderful opportunity to spend some well needed on-on-one time with each other and reminisce over a yummy meal.

6. Share social media posts – A trip down memory lane can often be dug up on social media. Share some favourite moments you two have had over the years.

7. Offer a ride – Don’t discount the kindness of giving a lift to someone – especially if they are going through any health-related issues. This is a great way to help out a loved one. And the time spent in the car lending an ear could support your friend in many ways.

8. Sweets – No matter how someone might be feeling, it’s hard to turn down a favourite home made baked treat or chocolate delight.

9. Smile – Like yawning, smiling is contagious and will also lighten any mood. You know the old saying A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose. So smile more!

10. Converse face-to-face – It’s an art that can be brushed aside in our digital age. Talking – no matter what the topic – is a great way to show them you value their time and care about what is going on in their life.