What are the most common issues we face as we age?
Isolation. Loneliness. And after those set in, they lead to boredom.
Think your aging parents are facing any or all of those?
This is often compounded by other events. Maybe they’ve lost their ability to drive. Maybe they can’t get around the way they once did. Maybe they’ve lost friends closest to them. And opportunities are fading away.
So they start calling you. Talking about little things. Asking questions about things that could wait until later.
Then worse; they don’t call at all.
How do you work like that?
Set a schedule for calls
Instead of having them call you at what might be inconvenient times, develop a pattern. Talk with them on your morning or afternoon commute. Chat with them while making dinner. And thanks to technology, it doesn’t have to be just a phone call. If you use video, you can see their behavior too, which can clue you into different things that may be a problem. This also gives you both a chance to do things you need to do, without worrying if you’ll be interrupted, or why someone isn’t calling.
Separate your visits
As your parents need more help, you start visiting just to get things done. You stop by with groceries and to drop off dinner. You spend a few hours on the weekend cleaning up the yard. What about having fun and visiting? Often, elderly parents complain “they never see you anymore” because they aren’t connecting. You only visit to do chores. Get help with the chores if you have to. Separate out your visits and create fun days too. If they can, schedule activities out in the community so they have fun and are able to connect with you and grow their relationship with you as well.
Find other activities
Your parents may become isolated because they aren’t sure what to do. Their old groups have faded away. Maybe they’ve lost old friends. What’s next? Help them find new things in the community. Is there an adult community center near them that offers activities? Maybe a lunchtime group that gets them out once a week for a good meal and good conversation? It can put life back into them and help them become active in their community once again.
Teach them modern technology
There are many classes that can help teach seniors how to stay current with technology. This helps you by being able to maintain contact no matter where they are. And it helps them by giving them something new to do. The classes can help them build new relationships. It can also give them other things skills – maybe they’ll start a blog, or become active on social media as an “influencer.”
We all want to stay busy. We all want to feel like we’re doing something worthwhile. To help you provide for your aging parents in different ways, it might just be a change in the way you’re thinking.