As your parents enter old age, they may require more help and assistance. The transition period can fill your parents with fear and anxiety, so being on hand to provide love and support can help them feel more relaxed and at ease. Your loved one’s health may begin to deteriorate, so it’s important that you’re there to lend a helping hand. With that in mind, here are five tips for helping a parent transition into old age.
Empathize with Your Parents
As your parents get older, you may notice a change in their behavior. The fear of the unknown can be daunting for anyone, especially as you enter the final years of life, so it’s important that you are empathetic to your parents’ thoughts and feelings. On some days, you may find it a struggle to get through to them, especially if they’re feeling low. Providing support, being empathetic, and trying to understand where they’re coming from can make a huge difference.
Once your parents reach old age, it’s likely that they’ll have a lot of free time (especially if they’ve retired). One of the main worries that older people have is being lonely and feeling alone, therefore, it’s important that you visit your loved ones regularly, or give them a call if you don’t live close by. Letting your parents know that you’re thinking about them can really help. You should also reach out to your parents’ friends or other family members that live nearby who can regularly pop in to see your loved ones.
Seek Out Potential Problems
When you’re at your parents’ home, make sure to have a walk around to check whether there are any changes or repairs that need doing. As your loved ones reach the final stages of life, they may not be able to function as well as they used to, so making sure they have emergency contact information nearby, as well as having a medical alert system in the home can be incredibly useful should your parents need urgent medical assistance. Medical alert systems can be useful to get for grandparents too.
If your parents enjoy doing exercise, make sure to encourage them to be active in their senior years. Just because they may not be able to move around like they used to, doesn’t mean that they can’t stay active. Regular physical activity is incredibly important for improving balance, strength, endurance, and mood. If your parent can’t get out of the house, there are lots of exercises they can do at home too. Try and have a look at community centers close by that your parent can attend to engage with likeminded people. They may also live near a park or library, which they can use to expand their social circle.
Advocate for Them
If your parent has a medical condition, it’s important that you understand what treatment they need. If they’re unable to collect prescriptions themselves, you can help out by getting it for them. You can also accompany your parent to any medical appointments which will give you the opportunity to ask questions or take notes to further understand their illness.
While many parents will gladly accept your help, others may not be so keen. If your parents are struggling to come to terms with getting older, it’s important that you let them know you have their best interests at heart. If they’re not open to help at the moment, they may change their minds in due course. You could try asking others to intervene too. The more people who are there for your parents, the better.