We have a special relationship with our parents, the people who brought us up and cared for us, supporting us as we navigate life. That’s why it can be difficult to see them get older, and perhaps even have the tables turned and be the ones who need care.
While it’s not always something you want to think about, it’s important to consider the kind of care and support your parents might need as they get older. Take a look at some of the following ways you can help your parents stay happy and healthy in later life.
Keep an eye on them
It’s easy to be in denial about our parents’ health. But it’s important that you keep an eye out for signs they might not be ok. Visit them regularly, invite them to dinner and talk regularly over the phone – the more involved you are in their lives, the more you’ll be likely to notice when something isn’t quite right. Many older people suffer from loneliness and isolation, so be sure to take them out and help them enjoy activities that help them to socialize and interact with other people.
Help them with their finances
Older people can sometimes struggle with their finances, especially if a parent is widowed and might not have been in charge of the bills and money before. You could find it makes sense that you take over your parents’ finances to make sure that they have enough money and that they don’t fall behind with anything. It can be a difficult conversation to have, but it can be one less thing for them to worry about and gives you peace of mind too.
Make sure they get the health services they need
As our bodies age, we require different support to help us stay healthy. Your parents might show different levels of support needs, from help cleaning around the home to having home help come to prepare meals, provide medication and so on. Sometimes, parents might need more advanced care, and services like Alzheimer’s care could be just what they need to retain some independence in their own homes. Talk to your parents about the support that’s available and guide them to the right choices.
Help them stay busy
Helping older people stay busy is important for many reasons. It can stop loneliness and boredom setting in, but it can also help them to stay healthy. Getting out and about will improve mobility, ensuring they get exercise and fresh air instead of being stuck indoors all of the time. You could even consider getting your parents a pet to give them something to keep them occupied, as well as breath new life into their home.
Your parents have done a lot for you over the years, and now it’s time to repay the favor. While it’s not easy to watch loved ones get older and perhaps suffer from ill health, there is a lot you can do to make them feel happy, safe and comfortable. Keep in touch and try not to worry too much, and focus on enjoying time together as a family.