As parents get older, their needs change. They no longer have the energy, flexibility, and endurance they used to have. They become increasingly more inactive, requiring you to do things for them. Some might even need help with daily tasks like bathing, dressing, preparing food, and taking care of themselves. When your parents need you most, how do you show you care?
Mind Their Health
Health complications might increase with age making it difficult to take care of themselves. You need to offer your support and help them see their doctor when they have health problems. You might even be forced to make some hard decisions for them, such as arranging for home health care and other life adjustments needed at the moment.
Spend More Time with Them
Spending quality time with your parents is probably the greatest gift you can give them. Make sure to set aside time for them every week when possible. More importantly, make sure your schedule is flexible enough to accommodate changes in their needs.
You can even bring them to the place they love going to most and reminisce over good times you shared when younger. When you live far and can’t manage weekly visits, try as often as you can but make sure to video-call them every day.
Get to Understand their Daily Lives
If you want to help your parents more or better care for them, get to understand their everyday lives, responsibilities, schedules, and needs. You’ll find out what tasks you can help them with and what responsibilities they still want to maintain.
For example, some parents might be glad to get help doing their laundry, while others would like to continue doing it themselves. Taking time to understand their lives will enable you to notice areas they struggle with, where you can help, and activities they enjoy doing.
Offer Your Help Without Being Asked for It
Your parents have probably taught you the importance of being self-sufficient. It means that they might not ask for your help if they need it. They want to be independent because that is how they raised you.
On the other hand, they might need your assistance but are afraid to ask for it. Show your parents you care by taking the initiative and offering your help when they need it the most.
Taking care of your parents includes making arrangements so they can live comfortably. It might mean doing house chores, shopping for groceries, and cooking their meals. Give your parents a chance to enjoy retirement by making it possible for them to live as independently as they want.
It’s not every day that you’ll agree on essential issues such as their healthcare arrangement and home care. Be patient, hear them out, and consider their ideas. They’re still your parents, and you owe them the respect of considering what they feel is best for them.
As you try out these tips, your relationship with your parents will stay intact. It might even get better as you look forward to spending more time together. You’ll also be more peaceful knowing that you’re doing all that you can to give your aging parents the best.