One day we’re bursting out into the world, having new experiences, and then the next we’re fully established, sometimes with a family of our own, and need to start thinking about our parents. As people get older, they stop being able to do some task for themselves, and can also acquire other troubles that compromise their quality of life. It’s your duty, as their children, to make sure they’re able to transition into elderly life as smoothly as possible.
Noticing the Signs
It’s not always easy to tell when our parents are beginning to show the signs of aging. This can happen for two reasons. One is that the parent doesn’t want to make a fuss and will try to conceal their problems, so as to not be a burden. The second is that, as human beings, we’re generally not as observant as we think we are. If we see our parents often, we might not even notice a slow decline in their abilities. To stay on top of it, you’ll need to actively look out for signs that they might need help.
Help Around the Home
The problems that develop initially aren’t very serious. Due to their body’s natural wear and tear, they might be less able to do some of the basic daily tasks, like hanging up their washing, getting things out of higher cupboards, or getting up and down the stairs. You can help this by...doing it for them! Doing a few extra chores a week will be easy enough if it stops your parent from trying to do it themselves. For the stairs, look at having a stairlift installed if the problem becomes serious.
Getting the Professionals Involved
We don’t have to only help our parents by doing tasks for them. Sometimes it’s about recognizing that they need help, and then getting them the help they need. Parents can be pretty stubborn when it comes to seeing professionals, especially if the problem is embarrassing to them, but things like urinary incontinence therapy or seeing a mental health professional can make a real difference to the quality of their life. It’s all about separating the issues that are normal in aging from the ones that can be treated.
A Social Outlet
Studies have shown that people get lonelier and lonelier as they age, and especially so after their partner dies. Some elder people can get days without speaking to another soul. As a son or daughter, you have an instant recipe to cure this loneliness: hang out with them! Spending time with you will make them feel like they’re a part of the world again. If you can’t physically be with them, at least call them often to tell them what’s going on in your world.
Your parents spent a lot of money raising you. It might now be the time to repay them. People’s savings never go as far as they think they will, and there’s every chance your parents might struggle for money at some stage. If possible, you should endeavor to make sure they have the necessities of life.