Help To Make A Real Difference To Your Parent's Happiness

Doing the right thing by your parents as they get older can be a time-consuming battle of wills, but it is often something which causes adults serious concerns. After all, these people have loved, protected, and supported you throughout your entire life, so it’s understandable that we want to be able to give the same back. But as parents age their health and their happiness can sometimes become a little bit more difficult to maintain, as much as they want to age gracefully, and as their children, we feel it is our responsibility to do everything in our power to make them as happy, healthy, and comfortable as we can. Here are a few ways to ensure they’re doing as well as they can, given the circumstances.

Ensure they’re getting enough company.  Loneliness is a real risk for older adults. Their health can have serious implications on mobility, meaning they find it more difficult to get out and see friends than they used to. Compounding this problem is the sad fact that as we age, the people around us start to pass away. This means that your parent could be dealing with bereavement of friends and loved ones as an ongoing problem. Ensuring they’re getting enough human company is one way you can help to give their mental health a boost. Whether you hang out for a couple of evenings a week, or you help them to find a club for older adults that they’re happy to join, this can make a significant difference to their happiness.

Boost their mental stimulation. Being old can be really rather dull. It’s no longer easy to go and hang out with friends, hit the movies, or just go for a stroll around the block. On top of this, dwindling eyesight and poor hearing make it tricky to even watch the television, so it doesn’t take long for boredom to set in and, unfortunately, along with boredom can often come associated mental health problems such as depression. In order to keep this risk at bay, help them to find hobbies they’re still capable of, such as crosswords with large letters, or move the television set closer to their preferred chair. These little changes can make a big difference.

Optimize their health care.  Whether you opt for home health care or a care home, it needs to be the right thing for your relative. Unfortunately, this is often a contentious subject, as you’re able to look at the situation more objectively than they might be able to, so you might have different ideas about the level of care required. The essential thing is that they get the care they need, whether it’s from nurses coming into their home, or by moving into a residential unit.

Be a supportive ear.  Finally, and most importantly, you need to be able to listen. Aging can be tremendously frightening, especially with the associated health problems, and your loved one might just need a sympathetic ear. They need to be able to trust you to act in their best interests, especially if they become incapacitated, and they’ll feel really reassured by your open communication.

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