As we see our moms and dads grow older, we are confronted with our own mortality. We remember when they were young, they had no wrinkles and they were so much more active. Fast forward to today and your dad is looking frailer and your mom has a range of ever-developing health problems. You want to help them to cling on to as much independence as possible as they move into their twilight years. Find out how you can empower them to do this.
As your parents become older, the chances are that they may need extra help around the house. If they develop physical disabilities, they can utilize the services of CDS, a consumer-directed services approach where they can live in their own home but possibly get their dinner cooked for them, their housework completed, or their shopping provided by an outside agency. This can prevent your elderly parents from having to go into a home or suffering in silence at home.
It’s crucial that you can be open and honest with your mom and dad. While they may put on a brave face and try to reclaim as much of their youth as possible, you know it cannot be this way forever. Make it clear that any decision on their future will be made with them, not in spite of them. They will remain in control for as long as possible, and you will do everything you can to protect their independence.
Welcome Them Into Your Home
If you are tempted to have your parents move in with you, you could be imagining them babysitting their grandchildren while you go out. You might want them to impart their knowledge onto your offspring complete with stories of the past. While your little cherubs may adore their grandparents, the dynamic of your family will shift immeasurably. There will be moments that are tense and fraught. How will you accommodate two more adults into the family home and what will you do if they need more care? This can be challenging when you have so many different family members to think of. Pooling your house equity together, you could finance a new house purchase together to house all of the family. But just remember, your parents may not wish to live with you and may rather stay in their own pad.
Communication is crucial when you are thinking about your parents. While they once cared for you, it’s now your turn to reciprocate. Think about setting up regular meetings with your mom and dad. Pop over at the weekend and continue to invite them to family celebrations. They need to know that you are putting them at the center of any decision you make together about their future. To maintain their independence, ensure that they have regular health check-ups and go with them to the doctor. If they no longer drive, but they still want to head to the park, encourage them to join a social group for people their age. By staying active and being social butterflies, they can make new friends, increase in confidence, and feel independent.
Follow this guide and you can help your parents remain independent for as long as possible.