There are many parts of life that we dread, for many people, it’s the ageing process. The fact is it’s inevitable that we will age, it’s just another part of life. Of course, that doesn’t make it any easier or any less upsetting. Especially, when you notice that your parents have started to become a little frailer. In most families, grandparents play an active role in their grandchildren’s lives. And so it’s only natural that you want to help your parents as they start to age. As by doing so, you’ll be able to ensure that they’re able to remain an active part of the family and spend lots of time with you and your little ones.
Of course, it can be hard to know how to go about this, especially when your parents were the ones who used to look after you. Often, older people aren’t too keen on getting help because they feel as if it means they’re losing some of their independence. However, it’s your job to take the appropriate steps to make their twilight years that little bit easier and more enjoyable. It might not always be an easy task, but it’s one that you have to make the time to do. To help you to do that, below are all the tips and advice that you need. Take this useful information on board and you can make it easier and less stressful to support your ageing parents.
Talk to them
The first step that you need to take is to sit down and have a chat with them. This doesn’t have to be anything formal, just a chat about what you’re worried about and how you would like to help them. Head over to see them without the kids in tow, make them a cup of tea, get the biscuits out, and have a good old chat. Tell them that you’re not trying to be nosey, but that you want to make sure that they’re okay and are coping well.
If there’s a certain thing that you’re worried about, such as them struggling to cook, for instance, bring it up. Mention how a friend has told you about a fantastic meal delivery service that offers healthy, homemade meals, and see what your parents say. You never know, they might love the idea of having all their food made for them. What it’s important to realise is that whatever the problem, there’s a solution to it. But to be able to find the solution, you need to be able to talk about the problem.
Include them in your day to day life
A mistake that many of us make is alienating our parents from our everyday lives. However, as they get older, they need our daily help and support more and more. So it’s important to find little ways to involve your parents in your daily life. This is something that you can do wherever your parents live, although it’s easier if they live close by. If your parents live too far to visit each day, use phone calls or video calls to check in on them. It might not be the same as seeing them in person, but it’s better than nothing.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can involve your parents in your daily life. From asking them to babysit to booking hair appointments together, there are lots of options. It’s important for your parents as well as your little ones that they are an active part of your life. Treasuring the time that you have with your parents is something that far too many of us fail to do and then regret later in life. It’s not just about that though, by making your parents a part of your daily life, you can monitor them. This should allow you to spot any problems sooner, rather than later, allowing them to get the help and treatment that they need.
Help them with mealtimes
At some point of another, the chances are you’ll notice that your parents are struggling with mealtimes. This could be because they’ve become unsteady on their feet, have memory problems, or something else. The fact is at some point your parents will no longer be able to deal with their own meals. When this happens, you need to think about what the best option could be for them, and for you.
Obviously, as mentioned above, a meal delivery service can be a great option. However, it can also be a little pricey. Perhaps a more budget-friendly option would be you cooking up batches of meals for them each week and placing them in their freezer or fridge? However, that would come with a lot of responsibility, and would take up a big chunk of your free time. What’s important is to assess what the best option is for you and your parents and then go from there.
Get them help if they need it
If you have noticed that your parents aren’t able to do all the things that they used to be able to, they may need some help. You may also have noticed that they’re struggling to keep their home neat and tidy, which could mean they’re in need of a cleaner. If you realise that your parents aren’t coping on their own, you need to think about what the best options are for them.
Many families opt to hire a nurse to help their ageing relatives keep on top of things. Often, having a nurse helping them get up and get dressed can make their lives much easier and reduce the stress that they’re under. Or, it could be that they don’t need a nurse, just that they need a cleaner to help them keep their home nice and tidy. If you’re worried, ask your parents what help they need – you’ll feel better for it.
Encourage them to stay active
One of the best things you can do for your ageing parents is encouraged them to stay active and lead a busy social life. Getting older can be lonely, which is why it’s so important that your parents make an effort to get out and about and see their friends. There are lots of activities for older people to do, so there are plenty of ways your parents can keep up with their friends. From clubs to day centres, there are lots of options for keeping your parents busy.
Look at nursing homes
If you start to notice that regardless of the help that they’re getting, your parents aren’t coping alone, it may be time to have a chat with them. Sometimes, when we get older, we’re not able to live safely on our own anymore. While this can be an upsetting realisation to have, if your parents need specialist help, a nursing home could be the best option. A lot of us worry about putting our parents into a nursing home as we’ve heard stories of how horrible they can be. However, if you take the time to select a nice and reputable facility, such as the Drumconner Homes, for instance, you don’t have to worry about that.
Of course, there’s the matter of how you’ll afford the cost of the home to think about. If your parents have a home of their own, selling that could be the answer. As the money that their house sells for could be used to pay their nursing home fees. Obviously, this would be something that you would need to discuss with your parents, to see how they feel about it. However, it does tend to be the best and most practical option.
Make time for them
Last but not least, as your parents age make sure that you’re putting aside time for them. As we get older, we need more help and support. So it’s important that you’re able to make as much time for your parents as possible. It’s not just about looking after them, but also about spending time with them. Whether they live down the road or in a nursing home, make a habit of visiting them with your kids, at least once a week.
The truth is your parents won’t be around forever, no matter how much you wish that they could be. So it’s important that you take full advantage of the time that you have with them. Arrange to go see them, take them for days out, and even plan family holidays. This will give you lots of time to spend with your parents and make memories that will last a lifetime. It will also allow your children to build a strong bond with their grandparents.
Seeing your parents get older is never going to be easy. However, it’s important that you take the steps to be there for them. By doing this, you can help to make their golden years easier and more enjoyable for them. It might be hard to know how to help them, but all it takes is a little chat, and you can work it out.