No child wants to see their parent getting older and losing their independence, but it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Helping your parent through this next stage in their life can be a great experience for both of you, and it doesn’t always have to mean that your aging parent is losing their independence; it’s simply the next step in their life where new priorities take place, and it’s always important to help support them through any transition period.
To make sure you can rest easy about a parent that’s getting older, here are five tips you can try:
1. Stay in Touch with Them
Reaching out to aging parents is important for many reasons, and these could be any of the following:
- An elderly parent living alone who may need social connection
- An elderly parent living alone who may be vulnerable
- Aging parents who live a considerable distance away so would benefit from a phone call or two
- To check if they need anything, as they may be hesitant to ask if not wanting to bother you
It’s always important to stay in touch with parents, no matter their age!
2. Be Active with Them
Older people should always put a focus on staying active, but it’s not always easy to find the motivation. Especially if you have an older parent who lives alone, they may not have anyone else to encourage them to exercise.
By exercising with them, you’re not only helping them to stay fit, but it’s also a great opportunity to socialize and catch up with them. You can go on a relaxed walk together, take a bike ride, go swimming, or join a gym class.
3. Help Them to Stay Independent
It might be tempting to want to do everything for your elderly parents if you see them having difficulty in some areas, but it’s important to take a step back when you can and encourage them to be independent. You don’t want your parents to become too dependent on you if they can manage themselves, and neither do you want to disrupt your own life by doing absolutely everything for them if it can be avoided.
Creating boundaries is important.
4. Think About Alternative Living Arrangements
If your parents’ situation has changed and they need assistance at home, or maybe you’ve recognized some alternative needs they now have due to getting older, it’s important to help them have the safest living situation. This might mean transferring to a nursing home, for example, or maybe having a live-in nurse.
If your aging parent (or parents) do need to move to a senior living situation, you can help them search by using services like Premier Senior Communities, which make it easier to find premier senior living or other community living which works for everyone.
5. Give Them a Hand with Technology
The older generation can be notorious for feeling distant from technology, and while it’s not essential for older people to use technology, it can be a significant help. Technology can help the elderly to remain safe by having a line of contact, and it can also help you to more easily stay in touch with them.
Not only that, but it can broaden their horizons by opening up a new online world for them where they can find new activities to pursue, communities to share, and people to speak to – even if it’s simply getting them a smartphone.
If your aging parent would benefit from technology, but they don’t know where to start, then they’ll certainly appreciate the help!