Being human means growing up and growing old. It’s a part of life. Being taken care of and caring for are also part of everyone’s process. Your parents helped shape you into the person you are today. Without them, you could never have gone on to create the beautiful family you have now.
As your parents get older, their roles go from caretaker to receiver. They might not be able to get around or do things as quickly as they used to. As they enter this stage of life, it’s important to practice patience and have an open heart. They’re still your parents, so don’t treat them like your kids. Instead, there are a few ways you can help make their adjustment process easier, and you happier.
As you transition into your caretaker role, consider the following tips.
- Make Their Home More Accessible
As you age, your body becomes more and more weathered. The more you use something, the more worn it becomes. This does not mean that your parents are completely helpless. It just means that they might need some assistance getting around.
Every parent is different. Some might require a stair lift while others need their wheelchair taken to the second floor.
Even if your parents require you to make their home easier for them to get around, don’t hold it over their heads. It’s difficult to go from being fully self-supporting to needing assistance. If your parents need a smart home, lifts, or adjustable beds, it’s important to help them get situated with any equipment they need. Besides, a smooth and quiet ride on a stair lift will make everyone’s lives easier!
- Include Them in Important Decisions
Even if you have to help your parents run their accounts, don’t leave them out. Explain thoroughly and clearly whenever you have a decision to make about their finances. Ask for their advice and help. Try to stay unemotional and address them fairly.
If they argue against you about their finances, do not rise to their level. They might be feeling embarrassed or incompetent because they are unable to make their own decisions anymore. Take a moment to yourself if your parents frustrate you, but do not exclude them entirely.
It could be helpful to do budgeting and finances together with your parents. Help them keep a spending book and remind them to check their accounts. This could help them if their memory is fading. Even if it’s just having your parent there when the decision goes through, including them lets them know you value them.
- Make Them a Part of Your Daily Life
Take your children to see their grandparents. It helps them from feeling isolated and lonely. Remind them that they are still a part of your life even though you can take care of yourself. Your parents will appreciate being able to see their grandkids. They might even spoil them with gifts and baked goods.
This is also a good experience for your children. Being able to meet their grandparents and learn from them is important. Even if it’s just spending time together, your child will value those moments in their future.
Aging is not something that your children have to be afraid of. Having your parents as part of your child’s life helps them become accustomed to aging and the end of life.
Taking care of your parents as they get older is a great opportunity to get closer to them. You can continue to grow and learn as a parent and as a child. Focus your attention on how to make them feel more comfortable and remember to embrace whatever imperfections their aging process brings.
I agree that young kids should visit their grandparents as often as possible. My kids visit my mom in an assisted living facility. It’s difficult to go there at times, but my kids have developed a deeper respect for older people. If you have some time I wrote a blog about this: leannesblog.org/2017/07/02/first-blog-post/