The aging process may be natural, but that doesn’t make watching your parents’ health decline any easier. If you’ve noticed your parents’ physical or mental abilities are changing, the following tips may help both you and your parents make this stage of life as healthy and happy as it can be.
Accept your parents are aging.
Health declines for anyone fortunate to live long enough. While it’s normal to mourn the loss of your parents’ vitality, you also need to accept it as a natural part of life.
Do you have siblings or other family members near your parents? Are there neighbors or friends willing to help keep an eye on them? Even if you live near your parents, you will benefit by identifying people who can lend support and help at times.
Stay in touch with the people who can help keep an eye on your parents. Discuss the signs of decline you are seeing and ask for their feedback. Ask them to alert you to new developments they observe. This will establish an open, honest line of communication with your fellow caregivers, which will help you support each other and your parents in the coming years.
Make the most of your time.
Instead of letting sorrow jeopardize your time with your parents, choose to focus on the gifts of the present. Be grateful for the time you have with them, and fill it with activities and conversations you’ll both enjoy and look back on fondly.
Watch for unusual events in your parents’ health.
While a loss of abilities is a natural part of life, significant change over a short period of time may not be normal. Seek a medical evaluation if something in a parent seems “off” more than expected. Something as simple as a medication interaction could be to blame.
Encourage your parents to think ahead.
The best time to make life-changing decisions is when your parents can fully participate in the discussion and decision making. Encourage your parents to think ahead and be proactive about their future living situation.
A senior living community like Parkway Village can greatly enhance your parents’ health and quality of life by providing supportive services and varied social opportunities. It’s not unusual to hear a new resident exclaim, “I wish I’d done this ten years ago!” Through providing every care level from independent living to nursing care, Parkway Village can help seniors enjoy their retirement years, while providing peace-of-mind for family members. Schedule a tour or give us a call to learn more.