It can be difficult to see your parents getting older. They were the ones who raised you, offered you advice and often resolved your problems. While you used to be completely dependent on them, now they are the ones that need help and support from you.
While your parents might be fine for the most part, it doesn’t hurt to offer them some additional help as they get older.
Take a look at some of the ways you can support your parents as they age.
Help them keep up with technology
Technology is a great thing, but it can often exclude older people. However, technology can actually assist older people to live more independently and help them stay in touch with the rest of the world – easing the feelings of loneliness that some older people face. There are different ways to help older people use tech so introduce things to them slowly and give them opportunities to ask questions. Items such as independent vacuum cleaners, home assistants like Alexa and tablets can all be useful to older people, helping them to live more independently at home.
Get them the help they need
If you see that your parents are struggling, get them the help they need. By arranging home care packages, you can make sure that their needs are cared for, or at least ease some of the pressures of maintaining a home. Simple services that they might not think to get themselves such as a cleaner or a gardener can make a big difference, allowing them to enjoy retirement without worrying too much about looking after their home.
Talk to them
Older people can experience loneliness, even when they live with others. While you might be busy with work or your social life, it can mean a lot to them if you just picked up the phone to see how they are. Visit your relatives when you can or if you live away, teach them how to use video chat so that they can see you. It’s the least you can do, so schedule a regular call so that you can check they’re ok.
Keep an eye on their finances
Many older people can lose track of their finances, especially without a regular salary coming in. Ask to check their bills over now and then so that you can be alerted to any unexpected high payments or anything they shouldn’t be paying, like payment protection insurance. Talk to them about money to make sure that they’re comfortable – you might need to learn to help them budget if they start to struggle.
Help them stay healthy
Helping your parents to stay healthy will help them stay independent while also keeping strong as they age. Continued good nutrition is important, so help them to understand what good nutrition is all about. Meanwhile, encouraging them to exercise through walking, swimming or even going to the gym can make a big difference to their wellbeing. Why not get them a dog to encourage them to take daily walks?
While it might not be easy to accept that your parents are getting older, finding ways to help will help them stay independent and strong so that you can worry less and simply enjoy this period of your lives. When did you last call home? Perhaps it’s time to pick up the phone and check-in.
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