As your parents age, you may feel an obligation to take care of them. After all, they took care of you when you were growing up. Just as you longed for your independence, aging parents are hesitant to lose it. How do you balance caring for your parents and giving them their independence at the same time?
The health of your parents is a top priority. This includes routine and specialty doctor visits and taking appropriate medication. Talk to your parents about their appointments and medications. Offer assistance in keeping a planner, filling pill cases, and determine if they need assistance traveling to and from their appointments.
If you determine they need or might soon need assistance, look into senior transport services. Your parents’ insurance may cover this, but other options are available if it does not.
Many aging parents find it difficult to perform everyday living tasks such as cleaning and preparing meals and even performing basic care tasks. This inability to care for themselves can cause a loss of independence and a feeling of frustration. You may want to give them all the care they need, but this can be hard if you don’t live near them or when your own schedule prevents it.
There are ways you can give your mom or dad the help they need without taking away their independence. Hiring a companion to assist with any needs they have including transportation and basic care is one such way. Another option is an independent senior living facility. These facilities offer supervision and assistance with all aspects of life.
Your parents also need to maintain a level of physical fitness and have access to social activities. Physical and social activity are crucial to well-being and help provide a feeling of independence. Talk to your mom and dad about their interests and determine their current activity level.
A variety of fitness classes are offered for seniors at senior centers, the YMCA, and other fitness centers. Social activities such as card games and dominoes, art classes, and more are often available at senior centers and retirement homes.
Maintaining a balance of independence and care for aging parents can be difficult, but don’t let it take away your independence. There are resources and helps available for you and your parents. If you are unsure where to look, dial 211. This service can provide you with resources available in your area. Most importantly, remember to show love to your parents and you will all make it through.