As tough as it can be to accept, your parents will grow old. For some, it will happen gradually, and they will still be as active as you have always known them to be. For others, it will be sudden and unexpected, and you may not even recognize who they are for a second.
As their child, you must help them become comfortable in old age by offering support and preparing them for the next stage in their life. From lending a hand around the home to helping them overcome any mobility issues, here are six steps that prepare your parents for old age.
Look for Aging Signs
Some people age gradually, whereas others will age somewhat ‘gracefully’. You can identify the signs of aging to understand their ability and health level. The typical signs of aging can include a loss of vision or trouble hearing. Prescription glasses and hearing aids are excellent ways to overcome this. However, some signs are not as obvious. Memory loss is one of the most common problems for the elderly, but it can be more subtle than you might think. If your parents begin to repeat themselves or lose their train of thought, it could be a sign of something more significant.
Adapt the Home
Mobility issues are another problem that your elderly parents may encounter as they get older. This could be due to injuries, disabilities, or simply life catching up with them. Trip hazards and staircases can all put your elderly parents at risk while slipping in the shower is a significant problem. Adapting the home (or moving a single-story property) will protect your parents if they struggle with mobility issues. Depending on their mobility, you can look at safety features that include alarms for carers and bars that help them balance when climbing stairs or getting out of the bath.
Consider Your Options
Everyone wants to maintain their independence for as long as possible, but this sometimes isn’t feasible, especially if a parent lives alone or is confined to a wheelchair. Considering your (and their) options can help them live a happy life. Adapting the home is one option, but if this isn’t possible, you could have your parents move in with you so you can care for them. However,l even this can be inconvenient, particularly if you have a growing family. Speaking with expert nursing home lawyers about which care homes are suitable can help your parents maintain independence and have company every day, which can encourage a healthy mind.
Many adult children will take it upon themselves to look after their elderly parents, but you often cannot do this all by yourself. If you live close to your mom and dad, you may be given these responsibilities by default. However, if you are not a trained and qualified carer, this could become overwhelming. You need just as much support, so reach out to your siblings or other family members and compound this with a professional carer. Even if your parents do not need to live in a care home, a carer can still visit them to administer medicine and check up on them regularly.
Ask What They Want
Too many people will think they know what’s best for their parents, and they will often ignore their parents' needs in the process. While preparing your parents for old age, you should ask them what they want. This is arguably the most important. Parents can be stubborn, so you need to work alongside them to find the perfect solution without being too overbearing. You can also support your ideas by getting advice from a doctor, and this will, hopefully, make your parents more inclined to accept their needs.
See Them Regularly
A recent survey discovered that around 50% of adult children see their parents regularly. All things considered, this does not seem like a lot. There are mitigating factors such as location or lifestyle, but you should still make the effort to see your parents as often as you can. Even if you cannot see them in person, a video call every week can often be enough to stop your parents from feeling isolated. This will maintain their happiness and keep them involved in your life.
Their Golden Years
Your parents have worked hard all their life, and their retirement should be the chance for them to relax. However, they are just as aware as you are that they may lose mobility as they get older, and so you can work with them to provide crucial support in their later years.