Maintaining Meaningful Relationships with Your Parents as They Age

By Jay Shelvin posted 10-30-2020 02:02 AM


As your parents age, the relationship you have with them evolves. Sometimes, you might need to commit to some responsibilities they managed previously. Some might describe it as children taking on a parental role, while parents require care much like children do. 

However, the reality is that aging parents need additional care, and their children need to step in when it becomes necessary. Parents might resist this change as they want to retain their independence.

Here are ways to have a strong relationship with your parents as they age:

Get involved

Show an interest in your parents’ daily lives. It might not sound like a big deal to take the time to talk to them every day, but it means a lot to them. 

No matter how old they are, parents want to know about their kids’ lives, and keeping them updated makes them feel included. This is not a one-way street. When you ask about their day and show an interest in what they do, older parents do not feel like a burden.

Go to a doctor’s appointment with your parents to show that you are committed to their continued good health. It is reassuring for them to have someone with them when they see a healthcare professional. 

Discuss matters such as Medicare Supplement Plans 2021, which make it easier to afford appointments and hospitalization. Determine which plan will work best for them by approaching MediSupps and its expert owner, Russell Noga.

Show respect

Your parents brought you into the world and did their best to give you the best possible start in life. They deserve respect for that alone. You might never fully appreciate the sacrifices they made during your childhood. What did mom and dad go without to get that pair of sneakers you could not live without?

Getting impatient because your parents are a bit slower moving around or become somewhat forgetful is disrespectful. They are getting older, and it is unrealistic to expect them to remain as they were years ago. 

Listen to their stories, even if you feel they have been told a hundred times. Be patient, show gratitude for what they have done by saying thank you, and ask for their advice before deciding something.

Have those difficult conversations

As your parents age and begin to struggle with everyday tasks, they will be reluctant to ask for help. Seniors do not like being a burden on others, especially their children. However, you cannot leave them to carry on when it is evident that they are not coping. Sometimes, you have to be straightforward and ask difficult questions.

There is no need to be rude when doing so, but topics such as loneliness, the need for additional care, and planning for their deaths must be addressed. Check in with your parents frequently and always be observant about any changes in their behavior or environment that indicate the need for intervention.

Do for them but also let them do for you

Your aging parents should still participate in your daily life. Let your mom make a pot of your favorite chicken soup when you are sick. Ask your dad to help you choose plants for your garden. Offer them chances to babysit their grandchildren. Encourage your children to spend time with their grandparents as their presence makes your parents feel younger and more connected to the outside world.

Acknowledge their independence by asking older parents for help when you need it. Parents love to feel needed, wanted, and appreciated. They want to make a positive contribution to your life, and you should honor them by allowing it. 

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