If your parents are like most people, they’ll likely start thinking more seriously about retirement in their late 50s or early 60s. And if you’re like most people, that means you’re gearing up to the prospect of being a parent again when your parents hit that age. But there’s no need to panic; just because they get older doesn’t mean they have to become a cautionary caricature of old age. With the right care and attention, your parents can continue to enjoy life and stay active into their later years. In this article, we outline 4 ways you can take care of your parents as they age so that both of you feel comfortable and content moving forward with the future.
Communication is key
Communication is vital in any relationship, and it’s particularly important when you have aging parents. Whether it’s a simple chat about your day or a more in-depth conversation about your parents’ health or future plans, everyday communication will help you both feel more connected and in control of your parents’ lives.
Remember to not just focus on the negative but also on the positive; if you catch your parents trying to do something special that you’d like to encourage, take a moment to say how you feel and how you’d like to see them continue to feel. Offering assistance with daily tasks such as taking a shower, getting dressed, and getting out of the house can go a long way in showing your parents that you care.
Turn to technology
As your parents get older, they’re going to be faced with more health-related issues and difficult decisions that they’re going to have to face alone. With this in mind, it’s important that you understand how to use technology to its fullest potential. For instance, installing accessibility aids or an emergency alarm for elderly can go a long way in ensuring your parents feel safe and secure in their home. You can also encourage them to read about retirement online, and teach them how to use the internet. This site has some great posts if you need help with financial education.
Activities can help you stay connected
Your parents will likely feel more connected to the world around them if they have some regular activities to participate in. Even something as simple as going for a walk around the block or taking a bike ride to get some fresh air can help your parents stay active and feel less isolated. If your parents don’t know how to use a computer or smartphone, show them how to access their information and social media accounts.
Encouraging healthy habits
While it’s important that your parents continue to eat well and stay active, it’s just as important that you encourage healthy habits in your parents’ later years. This can include encouraging your parents to drink water, eat a healthy diet, and to get enough sleep every night. Encouraging healthy habits in your parents’ later years can help them avoid diseases that come with old age, maintain good health, and feel more capable as they move forward.
If your parents aren’t interested in getting into a healthy diet or sleeping routine, don’t push them; instead, show your parents how to do these things on their own. This will help your parents feel more capable and happy with their lives as they age and will also prevent your parents from putting extra strain on your relationship with them.
In addition to helping you plan for the future, taking care of your parents can also help you see them as less of a burden and more as individuals with their own dreams and hopes for the future. This can be a life-changing experience for both of you.