People have become busy to the point of burnout. They do not even have time to spare for themselves, let alone for someone they love and care about. Our schedules have become full, leaving us with a life that leaves no room for our family and friends, especially our parents, who start to age without warning.
This starts a dangerous cycle of neglect. What we often fail to acknowledge because of our hectic and busy lifestyle is that our aging parents might be suffering from loneliness, isolation, and boredom – which is reportedly more dangerous than any medical condition or illness they might be experiencing. It has also been reported that the aging population is more likely to suffer from depression.
If we speak in stats, then it has been reported that more than 2 million of the 34 million Americans age 65 and older suffer from some form and degree of depression.
What’s worse is that they have seen their close friends passing away, including their spouses. The emotional trauma they have been carrying all their lives strikes harder in their old-age and post-retirement phase. Not to mention, at this age, it is harder to socialize, get out of the house frequently, and get involved in social engagements.
This is why you need to make sure they are being taken care of. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to take care of your aging parents personally, you can reach out to pediatric home health agencies and ask professional home health caregivers. However, they still can never replace the love one’s child can give.
This is why you should not let the presence of a caregiver take your place in the lives of your aging parents.
As adult children with responsibilities, their own families, and a generally busy lifestyle, they should make their parents one of the top priorities. They should look for ways to keep you closer to them when you cannot visit them in-person – technology, including mobile apps, can help you in this regard.
Let’s get to the point and explore the ways you can take care of your aging parents.
1. Maintain Frequent Contact
You know what they say – you will make time for what matters and make excuses for what doesn’t. This is why, if your parents are a priority, then there is nothing stopping you from reaching out. Today, you have all the tools at your fingertips – a simple text message, a few minutes’ call, or video-call. Technology has made it all the easier for adult children that live far away from their parents.
The best thing you can do is create a pattern, call them after work, or take a break or whatever time that works best for you. Your everyday call will make a significant difference in their overall mood. Not to mention, they will drive a high level of motivation from their children and enjoy life. So, make sure you maintain a frequent connection.
2. Visit Them as Much as You Can
No amount of technology can bring your parents the joy that they experience having you near them in-person. Nonetheless, it is advised to make sure you are taking care of them and visiting them as much as you can. The fact of old-age bringing loneliness, depression, and suicidal tendencies cannot be stressed enough. Your parents need you in their old age more than ever.
Technology can bridge the gap, but the distance within the emotions can only be reduced through spending quality time with them. The presence of loved ones near a human being elevates their happy hormones and brings them peace.
In case you are unable to visit them often, then schedule elaborate video calls to keep the connection alive and keep away their loneliness.
3. Encourage Them to Socialize
There are clubs, communities, and gatherings for seniors to enjoy. If your parents live in urban or suburban areas, there must be some gatherings for them to enjoy.
As their adult child, you can encourage them to socialize and connect with like-minded people. Getting to know new people can add tremendous confidence to one’s personality. Not only this, your single parents can get the chance to find love and companionship again.
4. Go Out with Your Parents
Staying cooped up in the home and going through the same monotonous routine can suck the life out of the young adults as well. Since these are aging people, they need outer stimulation more than we might think.
Go out and schedule dates with your parents! If possible, better yet, schedule mini-vacations with them and occasional stroll around the city discovering new favorite spots.
Such activities will put the spring back in their feet.
5. Make them Tech Savvy
This will be the best thing you will do for your parents. It is for their own good. You will be teaching them ways to connect with you and ways to keep themselves entertained.
If they love to read books, teach them how to find e-books and download, save, and enjoy. The internet and the many resources available for them to explore are immense. If they get the hang of it, they might find new friends to connect via the internet and even find some work to keep themselves occupied.
Another great benefit that they reap from learning how to use technology is knowing how to reach out to the right services and departments online – this includes filing complaints, booking doctor’s appointments, and in the worst-case scenario, reaching out to emergency hotlines without having to rely on anyone.
You can look into hiring a proper home health caregiver. This is for cases where your parents have a disability or require assisted living to carry out their mundane chores to activities concerning their hygiene – then it is advised you hire a non-medical in-home caregiver. However, you are still advised to make sure you do your part as an adult child. No one can replace the care that you as the child can provide.
Yes, caregivers are professionals and trained, but they do not have the emotional bonds or connections you share with your parents. This is why it is best to ensure you do not leave the space for the caregiver to take and for your aging parents to mourn.