When the inevitable arises, and our parents, who spent so long raising us and shaping us, begin to need help themselves, are you actually caring for them in the way that they want? As our parents get older and they rely on us to support them, physically and emotionally, we have to give thought to the entire package when it comes to caring. Not just about paying lip service to the idea, but also ensuring we look after their best interests. What are the things that we need to touch on to ensure that we are giving them our attention, but also looking after what is important to them?
Not Making Decisions Without Their Input
This is one of those things that happen more often than you’d think. Many siblings can gather around a kitchen table to decide on the best course of action for their aging parents, but it becomes clear who is actually interested in their welfare and who is edging for a bigger slice of the inheritance. While this is an elephant in the room many people don’t like to tackle, when we are making decisions for the benefit of our parents, maybe if they’re not of sound mind anymore, we have to do what we can to serve their wishes well. This may mean putting them into a retirement community rather than a “care home” and this could make all the difference. It’s very simple; if we want to serve our parents best wishes, we just have to ask them what they want. But surprisingly, there are many children of aging parents that don’t think like this.
Making Them A More Prominent Part Of Our Lives
As our parents age, we may realize how much we’ve taken them for granted over the years. They’ve done a lot for us, financially and emotionally, and if the shoe was on the other foot, how would we feel if we were being put out to pasture? In looking after our parents best interests, maybe it’s worth extending those olive branches all over again? If you have children, and the issue of distance gave you a reason to not visit your parents, as the reality sets in that your parents need more help, it’s time to take on more duties. We all make excuses in this respect, perhaps we’re too busy with our own lives, but if we are intent on making some sort of amends, either with our parents or with our own conscience then we’ve got to work at making our parents more involved. We can place the blame on them, but for those who are determined to make it work and refocus back on to our parents, they will shoulder the strain.
In life, there are a few incidents that make us realize the futility of life. As our parents get older, and we become the caregivers, everything can come into focus. As our parents get older, they can get sidelined, but if you want to give them the dignity they deserve, it’s about extending the olive branch.