Tuesday, 19 December 2017

As They Age, What Parents Should Do For Grandparents

As parents, it’s all too easy for all of your time and all of your focus to be taken up by your children. It’s only natural they should be priority number. But at the time that we start having and raising kids of our own, it tends to be the time we start noticing that our parents aren’t once the pillars of health and stability we once knew. What can we do for them and what’s the best way to go about it?

Be conscious and collaborative
As we age, healthy living becomes more important than ever. What were risks before become even riskier now. Obesity, heart disease, malnutrition, and even mental health issues become a lot more serious. Talk with your parents about forming healthy habits with them. Find exercises you can do together, focusing on low-impact options like swimming and using cycling machines. Eat together more often and provide nutritious, balanced meals when you can. If they seem lonely to you, beyond spending time with them yourself, you can recommend social activities around them they could benefit from enjoying. You don’t have to be coy or secretive, be honest about your concerns.
When they can’t go it alone
Honesty is the best policy because being honest about seemingly smaller health considerations up front can make it a lot easier to be honest about the big decisions you may face sooner than you like. For instance, the question of independence and when they might not be able to manage on their own as much as they would like. The question of care is one that’s brought up too late, in many cases. Rather than taking the time to find live in care services that allow them to live in their own home, especially when they’re a couple, people tend to look at homes first and then have the conversation. Independence is a real issue and your parents might be stubborn about it, which is why opening that dialogue early is important.

Don’t forget to be their family
One of the biggest issues addressed by elderly parents is the feeling that they’re being too closely watched by their children for their health alone. Visits feel more like check-ups than genuine attempts to spend time with them. Conversations start to feel like interrogations. Your parent needs you on their side and being able to feel comfortable with you, even when you’re concerned, is important. Again, this only highlights the importance of being honest and frank with your concerns. If they feel like your agenda isn’t hidden, they’re more likely to engage with it, directly. But most importantly, spend time with them without actively bringing up their health. They don’t want that to be the crux of their relationship with you.
Providing the care your parents need is all about striking a balance. You want to care but you don’t want to be so overbearing that your presence becomes a burden to them. The best way to handle it is to engage in frank conversations and to remember that they need more than just a watchful eye, they need a loving relationship.

*This is a collaborative post*


1 comment

  1. This is a very timely read for me as my MIL has just has been in hospital over Christmas having a hip replacement. My own parents are very active at the moment but a simple fall can be devastating as you age


Blogger Template Created by pipdig