As your parents grow older, they may need more support. It can almost feel as if the roles have been reversed and you now have to look after them and guide them along. It may be difficult to know where to start but here are five ways to help your aging parents.
Keep In Touch
Even if you don’t live near them, you can still keep in touch by phone, Zoom, or email. That way, you will know if they have any issues or if they are managing well. Often parents just want to hear the voice of their loved ones as they get older and are less able to get out as much. Set a reminder on your phone so that you remember to call or visit at a regular time.
Encourage Them to Be Active
It can be harder for people to get out and about as much without help as they get older, and their social life could suffer as a result of this. If you live close enough, you should try setting a regular date for lunch or take them out shopping. If you do not live close to them, you could still encourage them to be active by joining a senior citizens group, gentle exercise class, or doing some volunteer work.
Help Them to Downsize
Older people often find that they have too much space in their home once the kids have left home and it is hard to keep on top of the housework and maintenance. One solution is to downsize but the upheaval can seem daunting at the best of times and even more so when you are aging. Speak to your parents about their living options but let them decide where they want to live. Whatever you think is best for them, it is they who have to make the move. Help them by packing up their belongings, talking to the solicitors and estate agents,and helping them to move into their new home.
It’s hard to know how to help aging parents with finances as it often feels invasive. However, this is something parents may need more help with as they get older. They may be confused and forget to pay certain bills and need your support, or they may need some investment advice once they have downsized. Helping to put them in touch with someone who can help them could take a load off their minds.
Talking to your parents about legal matters may be awkward but you will be glad you had that conversation. Make sure that you know where all their important legal documents are kept so that you can access them if necessary. It could be a good idea to set up a power of attorney too so that you can deal with legal matters if they become too old or ill to do it for themselves.
These are just a few of the important things you can do to help your parents as they get older and give them, and yourself, peace of mind.
IF YOU’RE UNSURE
Navigating the everchanging needs of your aging parents can be tricky. And you wouldn’t be the first person to struggle with it. Or the first one to be unsure what steps you should take for them next. After all, you’re making big decisions on behalf of someone. And that’s a lot of pressure to take one.
If you’re unsure, seek out professional help. Whether it’s just advice you need or something more hands-on, there are plenty of resources out there to support you in your search for providing help for your aging parents. For parents who can function from home, seek out senior home care providers who can assist your loved ones in the comfort of their own home. If your parents need additional support, there are plenty of excellent assisted living facilities where they can receive round-the-clock care.
And don’t forget to look after yourself too. Taking on too many responsibilities can easily lead to burnout. And if you’re burnt out, you won’t be able to provide the care your aging parents need.