Having great and caring parents who support all your dreams is truly a blessing. The one who will love you unconditionally, regardless of your appearance or gender identity, without judgment. From carrying you through all nine months of morning sickness, your first breath from the womb of your mother, to all your milestones, it’s the nine yards that lead you. Enjoying every soccer match, getting excited about outdoor activities, and celebrating every New Year with a blast!
But with the changing times that make everyone busy, we sometimes forget to check up on our parents. Even with small gestures like messaging them once or twice a day due to tons like work and leisure, we prefer not to recall them. As time passes by quickly, we would be surprised by how old they end up, how their health is, or even how they look like, then a sudden realization will strike us and wonder what we can do to make up for all the time spent on making money instead of savoring moments with them. In this article, we’ve gathered some tips for you on how to take care of folks.
1. Know the Foundation
Perhaps you’re uncertain about where the base fits? Are you possibly wondering what those foundations are? It’s all about the three fundamental emotions that everyone has: love, patience, and understanding.
The first thing you should always bear in mind is to show your devotion to your mother and father as they loved one. One of them is that it decreases your blood pressure, lowers your anxiety, and strengthens your immune system, which would give you a longer life. A simple smile, a warm embrace, and “I love you” every day makes a difference not only to you but also to your parents in particular.
We all agree that at some point, our mood changes over time, and the same goes for our aging parents. From a happy emotion, it can turn to frustration in an instant or what we called mood swings. Around 20 percent of adults aged 55 or older have encountered some form of mental health problem, according to a groundbreaking study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but only about one in three receive treatment. So practice your patience with them better and try to extend it as far as you can. Make the best of it as they did once you were little.
This will bind the three pillars hand-in-hand with patience and love, which will keep you motivated to take good care of them even more. It’s a known reality that occasionally treating an elderly parent might be a handful, but if you have a broad understanding of what’s happening to them, and why most of the time they behave differently, you will certainly know it all and don’t respond harshly. Reading psychology books will give you enough information on how to adapt to their needs.
2. Make time for them
As the famous saying goes “time is gold”, that’s for sure! We cannot take back the hours that have already been wasted on a hard day’s work or simply lying around in bed all day. We typically waste our time with random stuff that is not as valuable as our parents, we have to appreciate the gift of time because we never know what might happen to us or our loved ones, and prioritizing them would be a perfect solution to make them feel appreciated. The great thing about today’s world is that there are plenty of means to communicate:
*Call once or twice a day
Mobile phones are a great way to catch up on what they are doing or check if they have already eaten breakfast or not. A simple “I miss you mom and dad!” will give your folks an overflowing of emotions that will make their heart melt and not feel neglected by their children.
*Send a text message or email
You’re probably busy with work schedules during the weekdays and there is no way you can make a quick phone call while you’re at a meeting. Let’s be honest, you are never too busy for those that love most to take time out of your day and send them a text message which can mean a lot to them. Knowing that their hardworking children drop a message on what they are doing or just updating, makes them smile inside.
*Use social media
Social media paves the way to better communication and the use of video calls is one of them. With just one click, even if you’re far away from your parents, you’ll be able to speak to them as if they were a few inches from you. You get the opportunity to see them more frequently instead of just hearing or reading any texts from them. But you better charge those phones for long hours of good conversation.
3. Frequent visitation
Everyone, especially our elderly parents, loves having company at home. It can be fun for a while for the first few months after their kids left their home all to themselves, but the sad truth is that the realization hits them hard that they’re all alone. No more TV fights, laughter in the living room, or even the regular dinner where they eat as a family together. But now, the house felt emptier, and even more, the silence grew. They may not be verbal about how they miss you and how they want to see you more often, but it would be a nice idea to visit them to improve family relationships. It also provides a good indication that your presence makes it clear that you care about their well-being to be able to catch up with their lives.
4. Bond with them
Bonding with them is a nice way to spend time at your mom’s and dad’s place. Interact with them clearly with the things they enjoy the most. If your dad is into woodworking, you can help him make new furniture or renovate the front porch of their house. If your mother is into gardening, on the other hand, you can give her a helping hand to shovel the soil or shift some stone pavers to make her garden more beautiful. Lastly, have a trip to memory lane and reminisce about the good times together when you’re younger. In that way, they will be able to see how you value the moment you spent together as a family. Studies have shown that families who enjoy experiences together share a stronger emotional connection and a capacity as a family to respond well to circumstances. Better set the date and have fun as soon as possible.
5. Seek professional help
There is a time when you have no choice but to put your parents in a nursing home with the best hospice care program that helps you to be comfortable with leaving your parents in their possession. Your parents can take advantage of many benefits, from individual doctors, medical supplies, medical equipment, to other special assistance, such as patient bereavement services.
6. Ask them to socialize
Apart from being bonded with them, they should also socialize with other seniors at their age. Socialization is an integral aspect of a person’s well-being since it has advantages that are rooted in it. Ask them to join some community clubs and engage in their activities, or maybe enroll them in a salsa class so they can bond as well. Anything that can ignite your soul at any point and make you feel young. By doing this they can regain their confidence and self-esteem in talking to others who share the same interest as them. With that being said, their mental health will be taken care of when they exercise the habit of engaging with people.
7. Monitor their eating habit
Food has both sides, whether or not they keep you well, and that’s why you should be able to control the food intake of your parents. When their metabolism reduces over time, older people’s bodies function differently than the younger generation. The best way to please their palate is to serve them oatmeal with fresh berries or bake nutritious banana bread. In this way, without the thought of depriving them, they would still be able to have scrumptious food, but more healthily. Moreover, serving fiber-rich food will lower the chance of getting a heart attack and enhance the function of your intestines. Aside from healthy eating, always make sure that their vitamins are provided on time or as required. Not only can each dose of vitamins give them the extra boost, but it also helps to keep their vitals under control.
8. Proper hygiene
You already checked their diet and prepared them delicious meals, so, when it comes to their hygiene, it’s time to do some checklist. Perhaps some of you would wonder, is there a difference in what we’re used to doing? Of course, as people age, they appear to be physically more sensitive and you should give your top priority to the following: Dental and Eyecare.
Unfortunately, for most nations around the world, dental care is not provided by any health insurance, and this is why you should make this your primary concern. We all agreed that going to the dentist is quite expensive and you should be eager to remind your mom and dad what our dentist always asks us to do, floss and brush. Want to know why? If you fail to do so, you and your parents will face lots of dental issues. Previous research has found a link between heart disease and periodontal disease, a disorder characterized by gum infection, inflammation of the gum, and damage to the tooth. To prevent this from happening, brushing the teeth twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste is recommended by the American Dental Association.
Opening our eyes is the first thing we do when we wake up in the morning. It is widely used to read, watch television or videos, and, most importantly, to appreciate the beauty offered by the universe. The 20/20 vision we once had would slowly disintegrate as we age every year, giving us a fuzzy sight, or worse, getting blind. This is the key reason why you should seek clinical advice consistently to check the eyes of your parents to see if they have any eye issues. In which, eye doctors will be able to diagnose it sooner and give quick medical attention. It would be frustrating to see that your parents will no longer see your face or even look around, so best set up an annual eye checkup appointment with your ophthalmologist.
9. Financial assessment
Understandably, we all have bills to pay, assets to purchase, managing our expenses and savings, but, how can we not forget what our parents have done for us to build what we are as a human being. Some became professionals while some are skilled workers all because of their supportive parents. The sad part is that our parents can’t stop aging and later on unable to work as they were used to that provides financial stability no more. Plus the fact that you have your own family too. It is our responsibility to give back to our parents and help them out in terms of monetary aid. The best thing to do is to open a savings account for them to cater to their needs and for emergencies as well. Opt for a bank that will help you out with this one to have a better understanding and be able to give options that suit your budget.
10. Safety at home
Last but not least, in the comfort of their house, make sure they are protected. The software makes it easy to get the best features available on the market for home protection. You can install CCTV around the house so that, even though you are far away from them, you can still access it. Replace the conventional door knob with a smart lock so that no one else can enter the house except themselves.
It is indeed a bliss to have your parents around, to have a chance to show your love for them, and to appreciate all their efforts. As time passes, every minute that feels like a ticking clock is getting older and older. Yet, it’s best to take care of them, and you’re sure to do it with flying colors with the tips above.