As our parents grow older, they may need more help than ever before. Even if they are still largely self-sufficient, there are things that adult children can do to make their lives easier and to help them maintain their independence. In this post, we’ll explore some simple things that adult children can do for their aging parents each day.
1. Check-In Regularly
One of the most important things that adult children can do for their aging parents is to check in on them regularly, whether via phone, email, or in-person visits. This will not only help you catch any potential problems early on, but it will also provide your parents with a sense of security and support. Make sure to ask how they’re feeling, if they need any assistance, or if they have anything planned for the day.
If you don’t live nearby, checking in on your aging parents can be more difficult. Taking advantage of video calling services makes it possible to have face-to-face conversations with them, which is often the best way to stay connected and make sure they’re doing alright.
2. Run Errands
Many older adults struggle with mobility or transportation issues, which can make everyday tasks like grocery shopping or going to the pharmacy more challenging. Taking care of these errands for them can be a huge help, and it can save them time and energy. Ask your parents if there are any errands they need help with, and try to make a weekly or biweekly trip to take care of them.
3. Help with Housework
As parents age, the upkeep of their home can become more difficult. You can assist with cleaning, laundry, mowing the lawn or even shoveling snow in the winter. Small steps done regularly can help maintain, and keep the house in order.
It’s important to remember that while helping out with housework can be a big help for your aging parents, you should also make sure not to overburden yourself. Break down large tasks into smaller ones and spread them out over the week or month. It’s also important to take frequent breaks to give your body a rest.
Try enlisting the help of other family members or friends to spread out the work. Having a system in place for completing tasks can help make housework easier and more efficient.
4. Provide Companionship
Loneliness can be a major issue for older adults, particularly those who live alone. Making time to visit and chat can be a huge help, especially if your parent is having a difficult day. Sharing a meal, enjoying the occasional movie or even a cup of tea can be a highlight for your aging parent, fostering memories they will remember well after the visit.
One great way to provide companionship for your aging parents is to bring their grandkids by for a visit. Grandparents often enjoy spending time with their grandchildren, and it can brighten up any difficult day. Make sure to ask your parent beforehand what kind of visit they would like and plan accordingly. It’s also important to be mindful of any special considerations, such as health issues or mobility concerns.
5. Encourage Physical Activity and Social Engagement
Staying active and social is vital for seniors’ overall health and well-being. Encourage your parents to participate in activities such as walking, gardening, or joining local clubs. By doing so, you can help them remain physically and socially engaged, reducing the risk of depression and cognitive decline.
Spending quality time with your aging parents doesn’t always have to involve sitting down and talking. Physical activities can be just as rewarding, if not more. Going for a stroll in the park, playing a game of cards or chess, or even doing some light gardening are all great ways to spend time with your parents while boosting their physical health.
Physical activities can also be a fun way for your aging parents and other relatives to bond. Just make sure you keep safety in mind, as some activities might require more physical strength than your aging parent is able to provide.
6. Help With Medical Needs
As people age, there are typically more medical needs to tend to. This might mean scheduling doctor appointments and following up on medications, or taking charge of wound care. Ask your parents what assistance they need and make sure to follow through in a timely manner. It’s important to monitor their medication as well, you can create a chart for easy reference, and refill prescriptions.
Taking charge of medical needs for your aging parents can be a daunting responsibility. To prepare yourself, it’s important to know the basics of their health including any major medical issues, medications taken, and allergies. It is also beneficial to familiarize yourself with their healthcare insurance coverage so you can make sure they get the best care possible.
7. Stay Informed
Finally, as an adult child, it’s essential to stay informed about your parents’ health and medical needs, including blood pressure watches, diabetic care, and dementia support. Accompany your parents to doctor’s appointments, and assist with any necessary paperwork or follow-up care. Staying informed and involved ensures that your parents are receiving the necessary support and care, and it can help identify potential health concerns early on.
Caring for an aging parent can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. By checking in regularly, running errands, helping with housework, providing companionship, and assisting with medical needs, adult children can make a meaningful difference in the lives of their parents. These small acts of kindness can help keep them happy and healthy, and help your parents maintain their independence and quality of life.
By doing these things on a regular basis, you’ll be showing your parents that you care, and also giving yourself peace of mind knowing that you are making a positive influence on their life. Remember, small steps done regularly can reap big benefits!
By Dixie Somers
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer who loves to write for business, health, and women’s interests. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook.