33   91
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WHEN YOUR PARENTS GET OLDER: HOW TO COPE

Getting older is something we all have to face eventually. However, what might be a little harder is watching those you love get older and start to struggle. Your parents are people who have cared for you your whole life. Eventually, the roles will reverse and you’ll need to start taking care of your parents.

This can be tough to handle on so many levels. You might feel helpless and frustrated, sad to see them struggle and fearful of the future. You might worry for them and not know how to help make their lives easier.

When you feel like you can’t cope, here are some tips and tricks to help them and yourself.

Try To Make Peace

First of all, and perhaps the most difficult thing to do, is to make peace with the fact that your parents are entering their golden years. Denying it and wishing it away won’t help anyone involved.

The sooner you can accept that this is part of life, the sooner you’ll be able to just relax into it and enjoy these years with the people you love. Help them to make this period a peaceful one filled with joy, and spend as much time with them as you can.

Improve Their Environment

Older adults may start to struggle with mobility and become more vulnerable to falls and injuries. They might be safest and most comfortable after moving into a frail care facility where they can be taken care of.

However, with home modifications like walk in tubs, ramps and widened doorways for wheelchairs, hand railings etc. this might not be necessary. Communicate openly with your parents about what they want and need when it comes to their space and come to a decision together depending on what you agree is best for everyone.

Make Sure They’re Safe

If your parents are aging in place, they’ll be able to retain their independence and take care of themselves even as they age. However, this might place extra stress on you (and them) as you worry about their safety being all alone in their home.

You need to calm your fears and ensure that they will be taken care of and helped in the case of any emergency. You can do this by setting up a medical alert system in their homes. This usually comes in the worm of a wearable device which will allow them to access emergency assistance with the press of a button that’s always on hand.

Organise Care For Them

Your parents might require 24/7 care but still not wish to move to a live-in facility. If this is the case, they’ll need to have a caretaker staying with them at all times.

There are two options for this – you or another family member could move in with them (or allow them to move into your home) and act as their caretaker. However, if you don’t have the time for this, or don’t feel equipped to do so, you don’t need to feel bad. Caretaking is a profession for a reason and it might be best for someone qualified to be there if you don’t feel capable of doing so.

Help Them With Daily Tasks

Even if you’re not acting as a full-time caretaker for your parents, you can still help them out in loads of ways. You can drive them around or run errands for them, help them with chores and taking care of pets.

If they struggle with cooking, you could help set them up with a food delivery service or even prepare and freeze healthy meals for them to reheat and eat whenever they need a meal.

Simply ask them what they need and how you can support them, and then do what you can to make them feel taken care of.

Spend Time With Them

Another simple and easy way you can help your parents and yourself is to just spend time with them. After retiring, they’ll have plenty of free time that they would probably love to spend with you.

Being with them as much as possible will help you and them to feel fulfilled and to ensure that you don’t have any regrets when they’re gone.

Make Time For Self-Care

Finally, it’s crucial that throughout this journey, you take care of yourself. There will always be moments where you feel scared, worried, sad or even angry – old people can be stubborn and frustrating at times.

Make sure that you can step away and find moments of peace for yourself in order to protect your mental and emotional health.

Thank you for reading.


 

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