The worries of having a parent reaching their twilight years

The worries of having a parent reaching their twilight years

When you have kids of your own, you find yourself thinking about the future a lot more often. We want to make sure our children are as best prepared for the life to come as possible. Then we get to thinking about the parents who hoped the same for us. As the average lifespan continues to increase, we’re ending up with more and more of our own folks in old age. But how is an adult child supposed to cope is the old status quo starts flipping and they find their parents start to need a little help instead?

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Staying in touch

Social isolation is a very common factor in later life, as our social circles often begin to shrink dramatically as we age. We lose touch with old friends, we survive them, or we simply have barriers that stop us from keeping in touch. You can help by, for instance, finding organized social groups for a parent, or you can just make sure that their family fills more of their social space. You can help them keep in touch, too. For instance, if they’re not able to keep up with modern communicative technology, then you have to help them find solutions like Snapfon, cell phones with major accessibility overhauls that make them much easier to use. A healthy social life is essential in our later years for mental health and acuity. Don’t let your parents’ be isolated.

Ensuring their health

As we get older, we become more and more likely to become afflicted by a variety of health issues. However, many older people no longer feel confident, comfortable, or willing to see the doctor alone. In some cases, it’s due to a decline in cognitive ability, meaning some may not be inclined to understand instructions. It’s important to have a conversation with our parents about their health. It may very well turn out they could some extra help such as keeping a schedule of appointments or even being accompanied to the doctor’s office. In other cases, medical devices like Lifestation can give a child peace of mind that if there’s an emergency, their parent will be able to alert healthcare professionals with little effort.

Seeing them cared for

It happens at different rates for different people, but all grown children have to consider the question of when their parents may lose enough of their independence that it becomes time to consider seeing if they need any help maintaining their own care. The choice of acting as a caregiver, hiring a caregiver or determining whether your parent might be better looked after in a retirement home is a difficult one. You have to talk to them and consider their wants but also consider the time and money available to you. Regardless, we have to keep an eye out and begin to notice when our parents become less able to take care of themselves.

It’s important to have frank, but sensitive, conversations about your parents’ needs as they age. Depending on many factors, they might be much more independent than you think. However, one thing is for certain, there are many older parents whose needs are going unmet, so we have to try harder.

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