Everyone grows older. It is an unavoidable fact of life. The elderly often become detached members of their own family. It is easy for the elderly to feel alienated day in and day out. Sometimes it is difficult for their children to understand how to maintain a relationship with their aging parents. This is especially true today, given how socially detached and impatient people have become in general. Since the aging population isn't necessarily into the whole social media scene, this becomes yet another barrier that separates aging parents from their children. Fortunately, this is a problem that can be easily remedied, if one takes the right steps.
Calling Your Parents
When you were younger, your parents likely had you call them to let them know where you were and when you would be getting home. This was done to teach kids a modicum of respect, if not the value of being courteous. Just because our parents are getting older, that doesn't mean we should stop treating them with the respect they deserve. The fact that everyone has a cell phone today makes it all that much easier to give their parents a call, even a couple times a day if necessary. This makes it possible for you to let them know how much you care and also to determine if they are doing alright.
Listen With Interest
Nothing is more gratifying to a lonely elderly person than to know that others listen to what they have to say. Just imagine how life would be if everyone ignored you. No one--especially not your parents--should have to experience being utterly ignored and made to feel worthless. Yet, this is how many elderly people are made to feel each and every day. But, when someone takes the time to listen and interact with their elderly parent, it can make the joy return to their face and even make them feel young again.
Get Them Out Of The House
Do you remember being a teenager and being stuck at home? If you thought that boredom was bad at that age, you should try being elderly and stuck at home all the time. It's a little like being in prison when you are elderly and left at home with nothing more than the toaster oven and the television to keep you company. Even if you just take your parents out to eat, or with you when you go shopping, this at least gives them an opportunity to enjoy different scenery for a time. Spending time with their child on an outing is often more appreciated than they might let on.
Help them Receive Medical Care
One of the most challenging things that comes with old age is that a person's health begins to slump and they rely on medical attention to keep their health at a normal level. According to ComForcare National, the daily to-do list in geriatric care grows very long and this can be overwhelming for your parents and even for you at times. Understand what this increased dependency is making them feel and try to be understanding. Strive to find ways to make all of the chores manageable for them and for you.
A lot of times people have a hard time accepting that mom or dad has become slow, feeble, or not as mobile as they used to be. Maybe they don't see so well or hear that well either. It is easy to get frustrated at them for not moving about with the agility of a younger person. The simple fact is that they can not do that anymore. It is imperative that, as their child, you realize and come to understand that during this time in their life things become harder to do. Your willingness to show restraint and patience will go a long way to make things better for everyone involved.
The benefits Of Physical Touch
Every human, young or old, needs some sort of physical touch. Whether it is a daily hug or just holding your hand while they try to walk, the act of touching another person is therapeutic for the elderly. And it helps to build trust as they age and tend to depend on your helping them more. It makes the elderly feel more connected and loved when their children gently touch their hand when talking. This is very true when an elderly person is losing their sight. The process of becoming blind can be very frightening for many people. And being able to hold on to someone else's elbow as they walk sighted guide can also make them feel more confident in unfamiliar places.
The truth is that there are numerous reasons for why a child should maintain a good relationship with their aging parents. There are even many ways to maintain such a relationship. However, one of the reasons that we often overlook is that once they pass away, there is no going back and rekindling that relationship with them that we failed to develop when we had the opportunity to do so. Consequently, it is truly best to embrace every moment with our aging parents as we can while they are still with us, rather than to bear the regret of not doing so once they are gone.