Aging is a natural part of life, but it can be hard to watch your parents grow old (particularly if they are by themselves). Seeing them not as able and start to lose their independence is upsetting, but as their child, it is your responsibility to help them during these years and take steps to make sure that they stay happy, healthy and independent for as long as possible.
How you do this will depend on your parent and their current level of health, but here are a few tips which could help them to age gracefully and enjoy their senior years.
Make Sure That They Are Receiving Healthcare
Attending appointments and screenings will be essential for identifying health problems early so that they can be addressed before they become a problem. This means that you need to make sure that a parent is attending these appointments (they may find it helpful if you go with them) and that they have the coverage that they need. Medicaid is a terrific government healthcare program which can be helpful if they have limited income. For those with parents aged over 65 specifically, you can check the Medicaid income limits by state online at medicareplanfinder.com to see what plans your parent may be eligible for.
It is vital that you (and any siblings) are in regular communication with your parent(s). This will involve having sensitive conversations like what the best steps to take when they are no longer able to live independently and if they are currently having any difficulties. In addition to this, it is also important to speak regularly with them about everyday life and to keep them included in the family life.
Make Sure That They Are Getting Out
It can be very easy to become isolated when you become a senior. Getting out as often as possible is important for a number of reasons, so you need to make sure that they are getting out by encouraging them and by taking them out when you visit. Getting out is helpful because it encourages them to be active (daily walks are great for their health) and to stay connected to society. Socialization is vital for mental health so these visits out should be as social as possible.
Consider A Caregiver
If the health of your parent(s) is in decline and they need help with everyday tasks, then you may want to consider hiring a caregiver. This ensures that they receive the care that they need in their own home and can provide important peace of mind for you as you know that they are being cared for. The alternatives to this are having them move in with you or a sibling or moving them into a care home.
Watching a parent age is difficult, but it is in this time that you need to be there to provide assistance and support in any way that you can. These are the key areas that you will need to consider but it will all depend on their current level of health, whether they are living by themselves and how much care you are able to provide.