As your parents get older, it is easier for them to feel disconnected from family, friends, and the world. Day-to-day tasks could become more challenging and staying on track with their lives can be overwhelming. This special season offers a perfect opportunity for you to help aging parents feel connected and safe.
It’s so important to spend quality time showing them you love and appreciate them. Simple acts of kindness like calling frequently and visiting when you can mean so much. Though there are so many things you could do to help them, here are some specific actions that will show your support, love, and need to connect with them.
Accompany Them to Appointments
As people get older it’s common that they have disabilities such as mobility issues, poor eyesight, and even be hearing impaired. These things can create obstacles to getting around efficiently, making attending appointments difficult. Accompanying your elderly parents to appointments helps them to feel safer and cared for. Additionally, it helps them to feel more connected to their healthcare team.
It’s also nice that you can listen to the doctors to make sure everything is being understood. It’s always best, however, not to assume they want you there. Discuss this with your parents and ask them if they would like you to support them in this way.
Encourage Them to Stay Active
As with any age, it is always important for aging individuals to improve fitness and stay consistent with daily physical activity. Fortunately, there are many simple and efficient ways older people can stay active. If you are concerned about them doing physical activity on their own, offer to go on walks with them. Additionally, if they are up for a more challenging activity, they could go to a special senior fitness class or group. There are also some safe workouts designed for seniors online. They’ll stay healthier and happier longer, and, if you do it with them, you will too.
Teach Them How to Use Technology
Your parents will enjoy being able to connect with you and their grandchildren in as many ways as possible. If they haven’t been exactly smooth with cell phones and the internet in the past, have a fun little class that will give them a savvy edge. This way you’ll be able to stay in touch remotely if you don’t live near each other. Check out some of the best tablets for seniors in 2020.
Investigate Care Options with Them
For those parents who are set on staying in their own homes, there are different options available. Not all types of in-home care require a nurse to be there for the majority of the day. For instance, if your parent still maintains a good degree of independence, you could arrange for a care team member to visit with them every morning. Aside from ensuring that their needs are taken care of, it also helps them stay connected to other people.
If you think you might need outside support, I recommend looking into different types of eldercare. Again, make sure to speak to them about this before you make any decisions. You could visit assisted living facilities and interview potential caregivers together if you both feel it’s time to do so. You can also find plenty of information online about services for seniors to help you come to the right decision. Even if it’s just to give you a break from time to time, there are plenty of temporary and short-term options.
Stay in Touch Regularly
The most important thing you can do to help aging parents feel connected and safe is to keep in touch regularly. Make an effort to speak to them at least once a week and visit in person as often as you can. Be sure they know they are thought about and loved. You could be their main connection to the world and life itself. It’s important for them to keep socializing and this will improve their quality of life and overall health and wellbeing.