When your parents start to get older, this can be a very challenging time as you want to do everything you can for them without damaging their sense of independence. Good communication is one of the cornerstones of going through this challenging period so that you can find out exactly what they need, as well as ways that you can lend a helping hand. Here are five top tips that are designed to help you during this time.
Empathise with Them
There are likely to be times when your parents take out their frustration on you or display moody behaviour. And while this may be difficult for you as well, you need to try to empathise with them and understand where they are coming from. Try to put yourself in their situation as their health is deteriorating and they are losing people close to them. Sometimes, simply listening to your parents is one of the best things that you can do for them.
Get Help from Others
Unless you are completely by yourself, you shouldn’t have to bear the burden all by yourself. Try to get other family members and friends to help you out, even if they only do so in small ways. Communicate with your siblings about how you can share responsibility. Perhaps you will be able to work out a schedule in which each of you visits on a regular basis. If time is difficult, they may be able to contribute more financially.
Discuss Their Living Situation
Obviously, most people want to retain their independent living situation for the longest possible time. However, when this is no longer an option, you may need to start discussing the other options that are available such as senior independent living apartments. If they are still in good health, they may simply want to downsize to a smaller house or apartment, so you could help out with the logistics involved in such a big move. Moving into a retirement community though shouldn’t be something your parents dread, in fact there are many attractive options such as Park Terrace senior independent living in Phoenix; cooking, maintenance and housekeeping is left to the staff meaning your parents are free to pursue their interests and engage in enjoyable activities in beautiful surroundings. If they really don’t want to move out of their current home, or the idea of a retirement community scares or intimidates them, don’t close the door to care options. Especially if they need assistance with day to day tasks. Bring up options like live-in, or home-based care instead, and maybe even reach out to services in the area. If you’re in LA, for example, Bethany Home Care could help come up with a plan that works around your parent that lets them keep their independence but gives them that potentially needed support.
Furthermore, if they haven’t already organised one, now is the time to encourage your parents to take out a life insurance policy. If anything were to happen to one of your parents, things can quickly get complicated where finances are concerned. One of my friends lives in Singapore and found that by researching online for life insurance singapore, she was able to find lots of information that helped her elderly parents to get their policies in order. As with anything financially related, don’t make any drastic changes without first consulting with an expert to address your parents needs and concerns.
Encourage Active Involvement in the Community
Loneliness and isolation are major issues for a lot of older people, and though you can help them out by increasing the amount of time that you spend with them, you can also assist by encouraging them to play a more active role in their local community. Try to find out if there are any social or senior groups that they could get involved with. Activities which are based on physical exercise can be especially beneficial as this has shown to improve mood, balance and strength, as well as decreasing cognitive decline.
Call Them More Regularly
Even if you can’t get out to visit them more often, a simple phone call can really make all the difference. And if they are set up with Skype, you can even speak to them face-to-face on a more regular basis too.
There are plenty of ways that you can help out your parents when it comes to the aging process, but there are just a few of them which can be hugely beneficial.
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