Your parents are aging, and you’re only getting busier. As you climb to your highs, they’re slowly making it to their lows.
You wish you could spend more time with them. You wish you could ease it for them. But you don’t know how or if that’s even possible.
We’ve compiled 6 easy-to-implement ways you can help your aging parents.
Remember, something is better than nothing. Do all that you can to ease their struggles.
Over the years, parents get accustomed to being the ones in-charge. They become used to giving help and not receiving it.
For that reason, when things run out of their control in old age, they’re not willing to seek external help. You might find your parents pushing themselves to their limits at things they used to do with ease (such as taking care of you). You might often find them stressed about:
- Why can’t they do it?
- What’s got into them?
They refuse to identify and admit the areas where they can no longer give their best. They refuse to step down and let someone else do it for them.
Even if it’s you.
Philosophically and psychologically, your parents are experiencing a threat to their parental authority. Naturally, they’ll refuse to take help until they’ve drained themselves entirely.
In this scenario, we urge you to take notes of the areas where they’re struggling the most. Are they finding it difficult to maintain the house? Are they neglecting their health? Is work too stressful for them?
Once you’ve identified the right areas, don’t immediately ask your parents to step down from them. Start contributing bit by bit in that particular domain. This wins trust, helps your parents relax, and calms their fears of not being a responsible parent. Talk it out with them and explain your motives before you take over completely.
For example, you can start cooking a healthy meal for supper if you think they’re neglecting their diet. Gradually, you can get to making lunch and dinner as well. If you haven’t got the time, hire someone to do the job for you.
Once you win their trust and heart in one domain, they’ll readily let you help them in others. Also, if you think your parents are struggling with multiple aspects of their life, it might be a good idea to consider an aged care facility like Banfields Aged Care.
Older people are susceptible to weakening of bones and forgetfulness. Both of these old-age dangers do not come with any warning signs.
Owing to weak bones, reduced strength, and sometimes low vision, elder people can easily trip and fall. These falls can lead to fractures and even death.
Similarly, forgetfulness may lead to leaving doors unlocked at night or activating house alarms. This, in turn, makes them prone to a variety of crimes and ill-intentioned people.
Therefore, children should help their parents in old age by making the home safer. You can do this by:
- Clearing out floor clutter
- Installing grab bars along the stairs and in the bathroom
- Improve lighting in the entire house for a better view
- Stick pieces of non-skid tapes on steps
- Place non-slip mats in wet zones
- Automate door-locking and alarm systems
Downsizing reduces the time your parents have to spend on maintaining the house. Consequently, they won’t work for long hours and deteriorate their health. Instead, they can focus on themselves.
So, urge your parents to downsize and help them with the process. Some of their belongings may mean quite a lot more to them than they do to you. So refrain from taking charge into your hands.
Your parents might want to depend on their savings or pension to sustain the rest of their lives. So they may never be vocal about their financial distress.
As a responsible child, you can avoid that by sending them an adequate amount every month. If that’s too much responsibility on your end or they’re reluctant to accept it, you can set up a passive source of income for them.
You can generate passive income by investing in real estate, creating an online course, starting a YouTube channel, buying crowdfunded real estate, etc. Here’s a more detailed post about passive income you can use to help your parents.
Apart from assisting your parents with income, you should keep a check on their legal documents and renew them when necessary.
The simplest way to help your aging parents is to be there for them. Of course, you can’t be physically there for them at all times. But you can use the internet and smartphones to your benefit.
Call them at least once every three days and chat a bit. It’s best if you opt for a video call. Apart from calling, make sure you or your family visits your parents once a week. It helps them stay fit emotionally and mentally.
Many old age diseases like Parkinson’s do not present with an alarming symptom. Consequently, the elderly get diagnosed with serious diseases in late stages, when they cannot be helped. It makes the remaining of their days hectic and traumatic for them as well as everyone around.
So take your parents to the doctor for regular check ups at least once a month to avoid such a situation. Note that monthly checkups are recommended for individuals aged 50 or above.