As we grow older, the traditional relationship we have had with our parent’s changes. When once they took care of us, it is now our turn to take care of them. That being said, you can easily overdo it when it comes to your caretaking responsibilities. You don’t want your parents to feel like they are infirm. They want to be independent, and they want to be supported, not babied. They have spent their lives looking after themselves, and you, and to disrespect them by categorizing every symptom of their age, you are not doing your part to help. That is why every adult whose parents are retired and who’s health is starting to fail them should read this guide on how to cope with an aging relative.
Spend More Time with Them
There is a huge difference between spending time with them to hang out, and spending time with them to help out. If you only ever visit your parents when you want to check up on them, and ensure they aren’t eating expired food or otherwise are healthy, then you need to stop this behavior immediately. Doing this behind their backs does not go unnoticed. What it does do, however, is make it clear that you don’t trust your parents to look after themselves.
Instead, hang out with them just for the same of spending time with them. Go for lunches, walks, classes, or anything else you enjoy doing together. Do this, and encourage your parents to come to you if they ever need anything. This is the better solution than having your mother or father close off and not come to you when they need help.
Take Care of Their Health
If your parent does have advanced health issues, however, you need to help them out. Day to day tasks will become increasingly difficult, and with your help, they can live a more dignified, fulfilling life. This is done by being trained and certified to become your parent’s personal aide. That way you can take care of your parent in their own home. You can even be paid for your work, meaning if you need to take time off you will be compensated for your efforts. You can learn more about how you can take care of your aging relative this way with this FreedomCare guide on the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP).
Help Them Adjust to Retirement
Retirement is a strange stage of life. For one thing, you will have been preparing and dreaming of the day you could quit work forever for a long time now. On the other hand, however, you have finances to worry about, a loss of social life, and a lot of extra spare time. Finding ways to fill your time and to make friends can seem difficult, but with your help, you can help your parents make the adjustment smoothly. Start by spending more time with them, and then start talking about their options. One great way to make friends is to move to a retirement community. Unlike a retirement home, a retirement community is essentially an apartment building that caters to seniors exclusively.
Coping with an aging relative means finding a way to help them that lets them keep their dignity and independence. They will need help, but listen to them and respect their decisions so that everyone can adjust and bond together as a family.