Watching your parents get older is frightening and difficult to deal with. The people who raised you and gave you your strength are starting to lose theirs – this is tough to accept.
As difficult as it might be for you though, don’t forget that the ageing process is hard on them too and they’ll need all the help they can get. Your parents might feel stubborn or even ashamed to ask for help, which is why you need to recognise their needs if possible and offer your assistance in a way that doesn’t take away their independence.
Here are a few areas where you could help make their day-to-day a little easier and show them support in this new phase of their lives.
First of all, investing in a medical alert service is a great way to help ensure their safety. These devices will allow your parents to alert you or a caretaker immediately should they fall or need emergency medical assistance.
This will protect them in the case of an emergency and will further offer you peace of mind knowing that they won’t suffer in pain alone for any period of time.
As your parents get older, their needs will change and they will be facing new daily challenges. Movement can become an issue for some seniors and if they’re ageing in place, their homes may need some level of modification to help them move around more easily.
Railings and ramps, bedrails and modifications in the bathroom are just a few to consider. The modifications needed will of course depend on your parents’ personal struggles and needs.
Some seniors need constant care and assistance in which cases a caretaker will be required. There are a few ways to go about this.
If you have the time and capacity, you could become a caretaker for your parent. If you can’t for whatever reason, that’s totally okay! You can still help them by helping them hire help or finding them a great assisted living facility where their needs will be taken care of by someone trained and supportive.
Ageing means an extended focus on your physical health. Your parents might need to be scheduling more regular check-ups and might even have procedures, physio appointments or other types of medical meetings they’ll need to attend.
You can help them out by helping them to schedule and manage these appointments at the right time as well as by transporting them to and from their appointments and keeping them company and offering them support when they attend.
Keeping track of chronic medication and various supplements can be tricky even for someone with a young and bright mind. It’s crucial that your parents stay on top of their meds and take them religiously.
You can help them remember to do so in a few ways. Buy them a weekly pill organiser so they know exactly what to take and when. You can also help them to set up alarms or reminders on their smartphones to alert them when they need to take their meds.
General life admin tasks like banking, taxes, sorting out issues with an internet provider or insurance company, dealing with car trouble, etc, are all tedious and frustrating tasks that nobody likes to deal with.
You can make your ageing parents’ lives a little easier by taking on these challenges for them. After a lifetime of such boring and time-consuming errands, they’ll be grateful that the burden is off their shoulders!
Getting out and shopping can get harder and more tiring as you age. Driving might become a problem for older adults, and busy shopping malls can become overwhelming when your movements are slower.
You can make a huge impact on your parents’ lives by offering to do their grocery shopping for them. You could take them out and help them along the journey, simply do it for them and drop their goods off at their home, or even organise an online grocery delivery service for them.
Cooking a healthy and nutritious meal every day is time-consuming, tiring and potentially difficult when you’re old and frail. You might be able to help your parents out by prepping some food for them to eat throughout the week or month.
Depending on what works for you and them, you could precook and freeze a few meals, or chop up and prepare a few fresh ingredients that will make cooking quick and easy for them throughout the week.
By doing so, you can be sure that they’re getting full, healthy meals each day and not relying on takeaways or crackers at home when they’re too tired to cook.
Hobbies and Learning
Being retired sounds like a dream come true, but daily life can become a little tedious and unfulfilling when you have nothing to work towards. Help your parents find fulfilment by finding them a new hobby or a way to learn new skills in their old age.
Find out what skills they’d like to try out and help them get started with online classes, or let them teach themselves something creative like painting or a musical instrument.
Aside from hobbies and learning, your parents will want to be kept entertained in other ways too. Help them out with a streaming service subscription so they have access to TV shows, movies and podcasts to keep them busy in quieter hours of the day.
You could also take your parents to a local library a few times a month to let them pick out some books and magazines to read.
Your parents will surely appreciate all the help you’re offering them to make their lives a little easier. However, if not all these things are in your power, remember that more than anything else, they’ll need emotional support from you.
Remind them that you’re there for them and that you value them, and this alone will do wonders for their mental health.