Old age can be a trying experience. You’ll notice that as your parents age, they will need more attention and care. Now, you could spend your time worrying restlessly or follow a more subtle and practical approach and keep your parents company, care for them, and show them affection.
In this article, we’ve listed the best ways you can keep your parents happy and healthy as they grow old.
1. Thoroughly Research the Nursing Home You Place Them In
Dealing with older people can have its challenges. It can feel like dealing with someone who does and doesn’t want your help at the same time. They have fixed needs that must be met to ensure their safety and well-being, but many people aren’t too well-informed about how to go about this.
The way most people opt for when it comes to caring for their aging parents is to put them in a nursing home. While long-term care facilities are a viable option, you have to thoroughly research and vet the facility you intend on placing them in. Only too often do we hear of seniors being provided inadequate care and even experiencing nursing home abuse. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, you should consider taking legal action. An experienced attorney can help you with suing a nursing home for negligence and receive just compensation.
2. Empathize with Them
It’s often easy to become impatient with your parents and their behavior when they are old. Sometimes, you’ll find yourselves at odds with one another and unable to reach common ground. Beyond that, their actions, like their neediness and frustration, will bother you. That said, it’s important to be empathetic and put yourself in their shoes. Old age means less energy, forgetfulness, and trouble with movement and coordination. None of this is anyone’s fault; it’s just the natural way of life, so when you feel like you’re running low on patience, take a moment to breathe and be gentle with your parents.
3. Encourage physical activity
As people age, they can have a tendency to isolate themselves. Low energy, body aches, and issues with movement mean they give up many activities that connect them to the outside world and prefer to remain close to their houses. That said, exercise is still important and can help improve flexibility and bone health, so try to encourage them to partake in easy physical activities.
Go for a walk with your parents. Plan a picnic and have lunch outdoors in a park. The fresh air and slight exercise will improve their health and promote emotional well-being as well.
4. Educate yourself on their ailments
It’s no surprise that aging can lead to more health problems. Keeping up with your parent’s health is a great way to keep in touch with them and their overall well-being. In their old age, going back and forth from appointments, engaging with doctors about medication and treatments, and the financial complications of insurance can be overwhelming.
You can help by getting involved. Accompany them to their appointments, do your research, keep up-to-date on their treatments and ailments, and handle the technical aspects of health insurance.
5. Help around the house
This is a small gesture, but a very effective one. Any time you visit your parents, give their house a once-over to check for any damage that might give them trouble: a broken step on a flight of stairs, fused bulbs, or a faulty thermostat, and have that fixed. You’ll be saving them a lot of trouble.
Furthermore, you can help them by running errands and making sure their fridge and pantry are stocked with fruits, vegetables, supplements, vitamins, and healthy snacks.
6. Help them find hobbies
High energy and dynamic hobbies like rock climbing, bike riding, swimming, etc., aren’t sustainable when you’re older. So, if your parents have some free time and little to no hobbies, help them find some.
The options are endless. You can start landscaping and grow a garden together, join a pottery class, do some yoga, paint, or explore a medley of other options. You could use this as an opportunity to help your parents connect with other older people with similar hobbies and make new friends.
7. Keep other relatives in the loop
Keep your siblings and close relatives in the loop when it comes to your parents. Involve them in your activities, as the attention and love from family can help boost their mood. Plan small activities often, such as weekend dinners, family picnics, birthday celebrations, and more.
Be sure to discuss their health as well so relatives and cousins can periodically drop by and show they care.
8.Visit them often
Perhaps the single best way to make sure you’re parents are happy is to visit them often. Parents in their old age are often eager to hear from you and look forward to visits and dinners together. As such, make it a habit to visit as often as you can, spend time with them, do activities together, and keep them in your life by celebrating small events and achievements along with them.
When your parents age, they will become vulnerable in a lot of ways. As a responsible child, you should do your part by helping them keep up with their health, their finances, their relationships, and more. While it may have its challenges, and you might have disagreements with them along the way, caring for them and showing up will improve their quality of life in various ways.