Providing Support to Aging Parents

Taking care of the parents who once took care of you is something that can be difficult to come to grips with as your parents get older. One of the best things you can do for your aging parents is to provide support for them when they need it. It can be difficult to know when you need to step in and what support to provide. There are some cases in which your parents specifically ask for help and there are other times where you need to be aware of the warning signs that they might be needing some more help. Through your investigation of determining what help they might need, you find that the help they need is more than you can offer at that time. Senior in-home care services might be what your aging parents need to maintain their quality of life and give them the support that they need at this time in their life. There are many other ways that you can support them even when you are busy. The smallest actions can be some of the most beneficial ways you can provide support to your aging parents. 

Understanding the Signs

There are a few telltale signs that your aging parents may need some extra support in their lives. If you live close enough to them, you can look for signs in your parents that can indicate the need for assistance with their daily activities. Some of these signs might include:

  • Not keeping up with personal hygiene
  • Stopped taking care of their home
  • Forgetting to take medication
  • Withdrawing from hobbies or social activities

Indicators of struggling can be small but these can raise concern about the physical and mental well-being of your parents. When you know the signs that your parents may need support, you can better understand when they may need to help and make a plan to provide the necessary support. 

Making a Plan of Action

Support can be small tasks or big actions that are taken after you have determined that your parents will need more help. During visits to your parents house, make sure to take a look around to see what specific help they might need. Do they need regular house maintenance? Help getting dressed? Assistance with shopping? If at all possible, try to plan for an extended visit to really see what needs to be done. Once you have seen the signs and determined what might be of the most help, prepare a plan of action. That may look like setting reminders in their phones or regular routine visits to make sure everything is getting done. It could look like hiring extra help or having in-home care services. Open communication between you and your parents may come with its challenges but that can open up more opportunities to help them if they are willing to reach out to you. 

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Encourage Open Communication

It can be challenging for older adults to feel like they can open up about the issues they are having. You can tread lightly with phone conversations to get a feel of how they are doing and what their home life looks like. Visiting them will give you a better idea of what they are actually going through but be careful to not embarrass them or make a big deal of what they may not be able to do anymore. Encourage open communication by being patient and understanding with your parents and by doing what you can to support them in being safe, healthy, and happy.