It’s not hard to think about our retirement, and what that may look like. Many of us have at least some savings or plans for retirement, but actually filling the content of our days can sometimes be tough to imagine. Of course, some people have a very strict idea of what they’d love to do. This might involve curating a retirement home abroad near the coast, or fishing their days away in total bliss, or perhaps even starting to write a few mystery novels they’ve had on the back burner for a while.
Yet while we’re still young, it’s a good idea to consider the future and what that may mean. This can involve figuring out how to plan for the retirement of our elderly relatives. Helping them live their golden years in peace, caring for them and making sure they’re well provided for is often the minimum we can do, and while it can sometimes be tough to accomplish, nothing could be more rewarding.
So, what does that mean? Let’s consider a few tidbits of advice that could help you, especially if you’re currently planning to aid your relative right now:
Be A Presence In Their Life
More than luxurious living conditions, or delusions of grandeur, or of ticking off absolutely everything on their bucket list, most elderly relatives simply want to be part of the family. This means it’s important to continually visit them, do so with your children, and have them as active participants in your family’s life. Of course, even if you don’t have an extended family, your own presence is usually enough and will be valued. What matters is that you’re present and caring. Of course, some relatives will want this to differing degrees, as family dynamics are as unique as the number of families to hold them.
What matters is being present. Even if you’re not visiting each week, a phone call can suffice. Even if you’re not the greatest of friends, a friendly greeting can be a good idea from time to time. Sometimes, even helping them find a pet companion can mean the world, too. Little measures like this can make a tremendous difference, not only for them, but you as well.
Use Competent & Convenient Services
It’s important to consider what services can help you bear the brunt of caring for your family member because it’s not always easy to care for them entirely when you also have a young family to take care of. It might be that meals on wheels services, housekeeping services, or perhaps even an effective security apparatus that contacts emergency services when necessary (such as having pull cords in the bathroom) can be very important.
This can not only help you provide for them when necessary, but it grants you peace of mind. After all, unless working as a practical carer for our family member full time, it’s hard to pay attention to every single aspect of their day, as we also have a life to live. Helping your relative live their golden years in peace means carefully providing for them, but also maximizing their autonomy, and placing concessions to match those two objectives where necessary.
Consider Appropriate Live-In Care
Live-in care is important to consider and can make a tremendous difference for your elderly relative. While many elderly people enjoy their autonomy, live-in care is not opposed to that, and should not be considered as such. For instance, it might be that your grandmother could really benefit from attending a Catholic Care Center, a place where she can socialize, relax in peace, all while having her faith strengthened and provided for. In this case, she’ll be in the best possible place, surrounded by lovely and like-minded people.
Appropriate live-in care can sometimes even mean moving in your elderly relative to your home. This might involve renovating a room of your house to become a spare room they can rest in, or building an outhouse, or converting an old office or barn on your property. This might seem like quite a step and it does require diligent conversations with your partner, but providing for that isn’t as uncommon as we might expect.
Life-Affirming Hobbies & Activities
A quality life is best found when we have a plethora of activities that provide us joy to take part in, and of course, that counts no matter what age you are. For the elderly, however, wholesome activities that sustain them is most important. Otherwise, they may fill their days watching television, or being isolated, and that’s never a good idea for obvious reasons.
It might be that you help them join a walking club, or go out fishing with them and your own children, or signing them up to an arts and crafts club. You may even drive them to their religious building every weekend, or simply invite them over for a lovely family meal every single Sunday, selfishness (but more than understandably) influencing them to provide that kind of comforting home food only grandparents can provide.
In this way, you not only help them fill the content of their days but give them a strong reason to squeeze the most out of their life. After all, it’s not the days in the life that matter, but the life in the days.
House Management & Development
Of course, it’s not always easy to plan the living situation of our elderly relatives. It might be that helping them downsize to a better environment with more elderly-accessible installations is important, instead of keeping them in a large house they can no longer clean or effectively move around. It might take a little convincing and the willingness to help them put the house up for sale, or arrange viewings, or put the money in a savings account that’s protected, but it does keep you in good stead going forward if you achieve that. At the very least, you won’t have to worry about how they’re doing.
With this advice, we hope you can more readily help your relative live their golden years in peace. They’re lucky to have you. With this example set, we’re sure you’ll be afforded the same kindness, too.