When your parents get to the age whereby they are relying on your for help, it can be difficult in many different ways. It is difficult for you to see your parents like that. It is also difficult for your parents, as the person they brought up now has to look after them. So, how do you broach such a situation? How can you help your aging parents? Here are some suggestions…
- Put yourself in their shoes. This is one of the most important things you need to do. Whether you want to discuss palliative care with them or you think they need some extra assistance around the home, you need to imagine what this is going to feel like for them. It will be difficult for them to accept that they cannot do the things they once could. It also represents a huge change in their life and they can feel like they are losing control. This can be hard to come to terms with, so you need to think about it from their perspective, as well as your own.
- Encourage your parents to be active. It is so important to be active when you get older, but it is incredibly difficult to do. Elderly people can often feel isolated because they get tired easily, they cannot drive anymore, or they are experiencing vision or hearing loss. Of course, their friends may not be around anymore either. This is why it is important to encourage them to be active, as this will delay cognitive decline, as well as improving their strength, balance, endurance, and mood.
- Advocate for them. If your parent has a specific illness, it is vital that you have a good understanding of what this means and what the treatment will entail. For example, you need to know what medication they need to take, and when they should be taking it. You should also accompany them to any appointments, and make sure you take notes and ask all of the important questions.
- Get other family members involved. You do not need to feel like you have to take on this massive responsibility yourself. Make sure other people get involved. Simply having other family members visit your parents will take the weight off your shoulders while making sure your parents get to communicate with others regularly. People can help in different ways, from providing emotional to financial support, so do not be afraid to reach out.
Hopefully, you now feel more prepared for helping your aging parents. While this can be difficult, it is important to try and approach the situation in the correct manner. Put yourself in their shoes and don’t let them feel like their independence is being stripped away.