As our parents age, they often become more dependent on us. Whether it’s lacking social interaction, needing help with physical tasks around the house, or needing day-to-day help with living, sometimes we need to step in and offer some of that assistance. Here are some things you can do to make sure they’re taken care of.
Have a conversation with your parents about their wishes for their later years.
Talking to your parents about their wishes for their later years is an important part of preparing for their aging. It’s vital to openly communicate with them in order to honor and respect what they want when the time comes for them to need more support. By having this conversation ahead of time, you can show your parents that you care about their needs and values, and have thought ahead by doing research on services and resources that exist in order to make sure they get the best care possible. Even if it seems uncomfortable or difficult at first, making sure your parents are heard and taken care of is worthy of the effort expended.
Make sure they have a will in place and that you know where it is kept.
Having a will in place is an important part of taking care of your family and parents as they grow older. Make sure that if you are responsible for any critical decisions, such as making medical decisions or handling their finances, your parents have a will. This will ensure that their wishes and instructions are followed in their absence. Furthermore, it is equally important to know where the original copy of the will is kept: ideally with a lawyer or other estate planner who can help execute the document when needed. Having all of this information readily available can not only bring you peace of mind but also help ensure that your loved ones are taken care of even after they are gone.
Help them to downsize their home if necessary, and declutter their belongings.
Depending on the situation, one of the best things you can do for your aging parents is to help them downsize their home and declutter their belongings. Going through a lifetime of memories and possessions can be overwhelming, so it’s important to take your time and approach it together with patience and understanding. You can have meaningful conversations about which items have special meaning for them and need to stay, and also figure out creative solutions for storing or passing on other items to friends and family. Helping your parents manage this transition in a thoughtful way will ultimately give them greater freedom from the clutter in their later years.
Look into local support services that can help with things like transportation, grocery shopping, and yard work.
As our parents age, their needs and levels of dependence change, making it important to think ahead in order to ensure their safety and comfort. One great way to provide support is to investigate local support services within the area that can help with everyday tasks like transportation, grocery shopping, or home-related tasks like yard work. These services can give family members a sense of peace that their elders are being looked after by professionals who are knowledgeable about the unique needs of aging adults. Doing some research into these services can be a great way to show how much you care for your parents and make sure they stay safe and active as they age.
Make sure their neighborhood is safe, both for living in and staying active in
Ensuring your parents have a safe neighborhood is key to their peace of mind and physical health. To start, make sure the streets they drive or walk on are secure; a slip and fall could be very dangerous for their health and could lead to lengthy medical treatment and potential legal issues. Check with local law enforcement to see if any reported crimes have been occurring in the area. Additionally, try to find out if there is someone you can call should you or your parents need help in an emergency. Making sure that they feel comfortable and safe while they continue to stay active in the neighborhood is also important– look into joining a local watch program or keeping close contact with the people who live near them so you can keep track of events that may be taking place. All of this will ensure your parents’ safety when living and partaking in activities in their neighborhood.
Check-in with them regularly, even if you live far away – stay in touch via phone, email, or video chat.
Staying in touch with parents who live far away can be difficult, but it’s essential to ensure their safety and well-being. Even if you can’t visit them in person, making time for regular check-ins over the phone, through email, or through video chat is an important way to stay connected. This not only provides your parents with the support and companionship they may need as they age, but it also gives you peace of mind as you stay updated on their condition. By making a commitment to regularly stay in contact with your parents, especially as they become more dependent on others, you will ensure both of you continue to feel connected even when separated by miles.
Be prepared to step in and take on more responsibility if their health deteriorates or they are no longer able to care for themselves independently.
As our parents age, it is important to be prepared for any changes in their health and the impact it will have on them. You can start by supporting our parents in things like regular check-ups and medications to ensure they remain healthy and independent. At the same time, however, being aware of the increased risk of common ailments and conditions related to aging allows you to anticipate when additional care may be needed. You must also be ready to step up if your parents’ health deteriorates or their ability to care for themselves lessens over time. This could involve taking on responsibilities like managing their finances, helping with daily tasks, or ensuring they are receiving quality medical care. As difficult as this may seem at the outset, honoring a parent’s wishes while helping them maintain independence and dignity makes being prepared worth it in the long run.
It can be difficult to think about our parents getting older and needing more help, but it’s important to have a plan in place for their later years. Have a conversation with your parents about their wishes for their later years, and make sure they have a will in place. Help them declutter their belongings and look into local support services that can help with things like transportation and grocery shopping. Check in with them regularly, even if you live far away, and be prepared to step in if their health deteriorates or they are no longer able to care for themselves independently. Your parents gave you many years to care for and support you in your youth; it’s only fair to do what you can for them when they need your support.