Source – Unsplash – Dominik Lange
Most of us want to help our aging parents maintain independence for as long as possible. There are lots of ways to help those we love the most, but often, it can be tricky treading that fine line between help and coming across as patronizing or overbearing. To enable you to provide your parents with assistance without crossing the line, here are five lowkey ways to support your folks as they age:
1.Support Long-Term Mobility
The longer your parents can get around, the longer they can stay independent. Why not invest in some aged care physiotherapy to support their long-term mobility? Services that are focused on seniors and helping maintain and enhance their physical health are invaluable when it comes to quality of life.
2. Be There
One-third of older Americans report feeling a persistent sense of loneliness. We all know that loneliness can be damaging both mentally and physically. However, few realize it is thought by medical professionals to be as unhealthy as smoking.
You can help your parents avoid loneliness in the following ways:
- Calling them regularly;
- Buying them technology and showing them how to use it to communicate (Skype calls, social media, and the like);
- Offering to come and visit;
- Encouraging them to make new friends;
- Letting them know they can contact you at any time.
Being there for your parents as much as possible can help them feel they aren’t alone as they age.
3. Gently Introduce The Idea Of Additional Care
Discussions about care can be tense and awkward because it challenges the long-established child-parent dynamic. If it isn’t handled in the right way, tempers can flare, and feelings can be hurt. By gently introducing the idea of care in a way that is positive, explaining the benefits of services like home care and sheltered housing, you can help your parents continue to feel in control.
4. Put Safeguards In Place
The fear of something bad happening that prevents them from being able to get help is a strong source of anxiety for seniors. By putting safeguards in place, you’ll help them feel safer and reassured while earning yourself peace of mind too. Simple additions like grip bars and stairlifts can help a person find stability and accessibility around the house. Wearable fall alarms can also provide reassurance that if your parent is one of the 1 in 4 over 65’s who fall annually, they can quickly get the help they need.
5. Be The Middle-Man
Sometimes, older people don’t want to approach anyone about their concerns or worries because they don’t know how to make the first move. Perhaps they are worried about money, health, or losing their social life and they don’t know what to do. If you can be the son or daughter who gently encourages important conversations, then you will be doing them a world of good. You may be able to connect them to a support group, doctor, or charity-run coffee morning that solves their dilemma. Whatever it is, you will be supporting their needs in a helpful and loving way.
In 2030, 20% of the population is expected to be over 65. This will add pressure to care systems worldwide, making it more important than ever for us all to provide extra support to our aging parents, helping them remain happily independent and mobile for as long as possible. With the right approach, you can maintain a strong relationship with your folks whilst helping them remain supported and content in their golden years.