Of course caring for your elderly parent or parents is a priority. However, with the holidays quickly approaching, we tend to inadvertently put other things, like holiday gatherings, baking, and shopping for gifts, ahead of our aging loved ones. But with these tips, you can ensure that your mother or father feels loved and included this holiday season.
Five Ways to Show Your Elderly Parents You Care
1.) Simply make time for them.
This may seem like an obvious thing to do, but it is often overlooked. Despite having children and a busy schedule, you should not forget about your parents and their well-being. Visit them as frequently as possible and make an effort to take them to concerts or community festivals they may enjoy. Remember that these do not have to be expensive affairs – cities often offer free arts events during the summer months. So, grab a few lawn chairs and enjoy their company while listening to music. Also, be sure to include them in birthday celebrations and other family events, even if it means providing transportation.
2.) Maintain frequent contact.
If you are a long distance caregiver, making time for your parents can be even more difficult. While weekly Sunday dinners may not be an option, you can check in on your elderly parents by phone calls and teaching them to use technology, such as Skype, to keep in touch. Also, it may be a good idea to develop a relationship with one of their neighbors, so they can stop by your parents’ home on occasion to help with grocery shopping or chores. Moreover, this will quickly allow you to find out if your elderly parents are still bathing, eating properly, and caring for their home. If not, you may want to consider in-home care for them.
3.) Hire help.
If you notice that your elderly parent has drastically lost or gain weight, they cannot safely operate a motor vehicle, or they are not changing their clothing or brushing their teeth, it may be time to consider in-home care. While your parents may be resistant to having a stranger in their home, a person licensed to provide senior care can be a long-term benefit for all involved. This is especially important if you live far away and cannot be there with your parents very often or during the holidays. Namely, a home health care provider can ensure that your loved one has a good quality of life by providing companionship, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Also, consider hiring a housekeeper and lawn care provider to assist with tasks your parent may no longer be able to accomplish. Read “Warning Signs That May Indicate That In-Home Care Is Needed.”
4.) Get them involved.
If you are unable to frequently spend time with your elderly parents, do a Google search for community resources in their area that will allow them to meet other senior citizens. Perhaps they would enjoy Bingo, playing Bridge, or getting together with friends for Bocce. If they are typically not social, you may be able to encourage them to try new things, such as a sewing guild or a Bible study. Churches can be a good resource because they often have many options for senior involvement. If your parents are still unsure or resistant, offer to attend with them if possible.
5.) Reminisce with loved ones.
Many of our fondest memories are from holidays. So, what better time to reminisce than around a Christmas tree, by the fire place, drinking hot cocoa? Bring out old photo albums and allow your parents to tell you about their favorite memories. Often, they will have trouble remembering daily details, but will be able to tell you about a photo that is over fifty years old. They will be delighted to hear about your favorite moments growing up and it will bring you closer together. The best part? You will cherish the time you spent with them and you can record who is in old family photos for future reference.
Unfortunately, too often, our elderly parents’ care is overlooked. To prevent this from happening, just spending time with them and hiring senior care (if necessary) will show them that you care and that they are a priority to you. Read “Hiring a Home Care Worker: The Agency Advantage.” Namely, it will not take much for them to feel that they are loved and important. After all, they cared for you, so you should do everything in your power to help care for them as they age.
To learn more, watch this video “Benefits of Hiring Assisting Hands Home Care of Boca Raton and Delray Beach“