How Best to Help Aging Parents
As our parents age, it’s only natural that we want to do everything we can to help them. But sometimes it’s hard to know what the best way to help is. If you’re looking for ideas, read as we explore some of the best ways you can help your aging parents live a happy, healthy, and comfortable life.
Talk to your siblings: If you have siblings, now is the time to have a conversation about who is going to help out and how often. It’s important to make sure that everyone is on the same page so that your parents are getting the care they need without any one person feeling overburdened.
Communication is key: Talk to your parents about their needs and concerns. If they’re reluctant to talk, try asking indirect questions about their health, their daily routine, or their social life. See if there are any areas where they could use some help. It could be something as simple as grocery shopping or getting to doctor’s appointments. Once you know what they need, you can start making plans to help out.
Help them stay active and social: One of the best ways you can help your aging parents is by helping them to stay active and social. As we age, it’s easy to become isolated and lonely. Help your parents stay connected with friends and family by setting up regular phone calls or video chats. Plan outings and activities, even if it’s just a walk around the block or a trip to the grocery store. Keeping active will help your parents maintain their independence for longer.
Hire outside help: If you live far away from your parents or if you have a lot of other commitments, it might be necessary to hire someone to help care for them. This can be anything from a part-time caregiver to a full-time nurse. Do your research to find someone who will be a good fit for your family and make sure to communicate your expectations clearly.
Help with their finances: Another way you can help your aging parents is by helping them with their finances. This may include helping them to pay bills, budget, or invest their money wisely. Many seniors are targeted by scammers who try to take advantage of their financial situation. You can help protect your parents by keeping an eye out for red flags like unexpected calls or emails asking for personal information or money.
Be there for them emotionally: As our parents age, they may experience feelings of sadness, loneliness, anxiety, or fear. Just being there to listen and offer support can be a big help. If you think your parents are experiencing depression, you can contact their doctor or the National Institute on Aging at 1-800-222-2225 for more information and resources.
Utilize your resources: There are many resources available to help you care for aging parents. Look into government programs like Medicare or Medicaid, or search for private organizations that offer support. There are often community groups that can provide transportation or meals, or put you in touch with other families who are dealing with similar issues. Don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it.
Be respectful: No matter what situation you’re in, it’s important to always be respectful of your parents’ wishes. If they don’t want help with certain things, respect their wishes and don’t try to force anything on them.
There are many ways you can help your aging parents live a happy, healthy, and comfortable life. The best way to help is often dependent on the individual needs of your parents. By staying active and social, helping with finances, and being there emotionally, you can make a big difference in your parent’s life as they age.