Ageing doesn’t have to be a difficult process, and especially not for people who can rely on their adult kids to treat them with respect, love and care. So, do you spend time and get in touch with your parents regularly? Do you know what essentials they need for their comfortable daily lives? Do you take responsibility for their care, medical treatments and doctor checkups? Are you always ready to encourage your parents to enjoy an active lifestyle filled with hobbies?
All these aspects are absolutely necessary for your ageing parents to stay healthy, both physically and emotionally. After all, if your parents are well and happy, you will be, too.
Staying active is the key to maintaining a healthy body and mind as one gets older. And a healthy body and mind paired with an active lifestyle mean happiness and fulfilment. This is why it’s so important that you’re there for your ageing parents to give them a gentle push in the right direction. After all, who would they rather receive encouragement from than you? Any kind of activity that your parents will enjoy is good for them. And as you know them so well, you can always suggest different activities that you know they’ll love. From light but regular physical activity (you can take walks together, for example, and get some quality time together as well) to social gatherings and board games, there are plenty of things that you can nudge your parents into doing, and even take part in these activities with them from time to time as well.
Be understanding and patient
The fact that your parents aren’t getting any younger can really weigh you all down. Certain stages in life can become rather difficult if you don’t have enough patience and understanding for the changes that are happening. Remember, there’s no reason to lash out. Just put yourself in your parents’ shoes. How would you feel if you were retired, in poor health, less energetic and more socially withdrawn? Understanding how your parents must feel will allow you to act and react better in situations when their mood significantly worsens, which will also make it easier to quickly fix the situation and brighten up their mood again. They may seem irritating on purpose on occasion, but all they want is a confirmation of your love. They actually want to feel needed by you more than ever, and something like that is extremely easy and satisfying to give them.
Make things easier on your parents
It’s not uncommon for ageing people with health issues to feel useless and like a burden. This is a very unfortunate truth, but you have the power to make it all better. In the end, family love and support is the most important thing in situations like these. There are many ways you can show your parents just how much you love them. Taking good care of them as they suffer from old age ailments is definitely one of those things. But even if you can’t be with them constantly, they can still feel safe thanks to you and a reliable disability support worker you could hire to assist your parents when you’re not able to. But it’s up to you to emphasise that just because they may have a need for special help, their lives are far from over. You can always adjust different activities and pastimes to your parents’ situation, so that you can always enjoy some quality time together; and so that they can do so even when you’re not around. Make your ideas, positivity and energy contagious for your loved ones.
The joy of youth
Don’t hesitate to make your parents happy, chatty and active by bringing them closer to the joy of youth. After all, there’s nothing quite as bright and wonderful for the elderly as their grandchildren. While they will definitely appreciate and enjoy your company, can you imagine just how energetic and useful kids – your kids – can make them feel? Therefore, take every opportunity you can to take your kids to visit their grandparents. The more they connect and bond with each other, the more happy memories they will get to make, which means they’ll also have to look forward to more of those moments in the future.
Keep them safe
In order to keep your parents happy, you also need to keep them safe. They will recognise your concern and desire to make their lives as comfortable as possible, which means a lot. Make sure that the house they live in is in an adequate state so that it meets all their needs and health conditions. For example, maybe they should avoid stairs, or stay away from slippery floor surfaces. You can arrange all the necessary changes and work that has to be done in order to have them enjoy their personal environment more. And when they’re happy with and in their own home, they will definitely be more open to happiness that still awaits them in life. With their family to fill out their place with laughter, seizing the day will become a long-term motto for your parents, just like it is for truly content, happy people.
Things may get difficult at times. But families are sometimes like that. There’s nothing you cannot work out together when you’re open and understanding with each other. It’s important that you yourself accept the fact that your parents are ageing so that you don’t fight this change and hurt them in the process.