It’s not something that’s nice to think about, but as your parents age, they might need extra help. It’s hard seeing someone you love struggling to live life to the full like they used to, but there are ways you can help them to still do that.
The problem for many of us with aging parents is that we don’t know how to go about helping them, as we don’t want to embarrass them. However, what it’s important to remember is that keeping them safe is more important than anything else.
Yes, your mum might not like the idea of getting help – she’s a proud woman after all, but if she needs it, she needs it. It might be hard trying to work out the best way to cope with helping your aging parents, but it is essential that you find a way to do so.
To make things easier for you, here are a few tips that you might find useful:
Empathise with them
You might sometimes find your parents hard to deal with, especially when they are frustrated. However, it is important that you stay calm and learn how to empathise with them.
You might feel annoyed at how they are acting, but try to see where they are coming from. As we age, we lose a lot of different things, from our careers to our friends – that can be hard. Imagine how you would feel if you were in their position – would you be happy all the time?
Talk things through
Always make sure that if you have concerns or are worried about your parents, that you talk things through with them. If they try to brush your concern off or act rudely, don’t take it personally, aging isn’t easy.
Don’t make the mistake of trying to make decisions for them, always talk things through together. Yes, you might be worried about your dad, but that doesn’t give you the right to make decisions for him.
If there is something bothering you about your parents, sit down with them and talk things through. By being open and honest with them, you will end up getting better results.
While your parents might be self-sufficient now, it’s important to realise that there may come a time when they are not. Perhaps you mum will no longer be able to get to the shops or prepare her own meals or maybe your dad won’t be able to shower by himself. It might be horrible to think about, but these are the kind of things that need to be discussed in advance.
Talk to your parents about how you will afford to pay for a private nurse for them or for meals to be delivered to their home. Consider how you would afford to fund a nursing home if they needed full-time care – could you afford it?
Discuss the possibility of your parents releasing equity from their home to use as money to support their care. The best way to do this is by contacting reverse mortgage lenders and going through them. This will ensure that if they day came when your parents needed a certain type of care, the money to pay for it would be waiting.
Encourage them to be sociable
For many senior citizens, loneliness is a real problem. You see, once your parent are no longer able to drive or no longer work, they can easily become isolated from society.
To ensure that your parents are getting out and about and socialising, encourage them to attend events. If your parents need a lift somewhere, always try to give it to them or book them a taxi instead.
Dealing with aging parents isn’t always easy, but it is doable if you follow the tips in this guide. Remember, always be open and honest with them. Learn to empathise with their feelings and aim to deal with their finances in advance.