Maintaining a Healthy Relationship with Your Parents as They Age

Some people grow old gracefully without any health complications or limitations. These folk have no issues running their home, pottering around the garden, getting out to do the shopping and socializing. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case everyone.

For others, seeing their loved ones grow older can be hard. The parents you knew to be active, independent and self sufficient regularly become frail and dependent on others.

Some may lose physical ability, struggling to walk without aid or feed themselves. Many inherit chronic illnesses such as arthritis, heart disease or diabetes.

Others elderly folk may forget day how to do day to day activities or the names of their grandchildren. Memory loss is even worse in those sufferers of dementia, alzheimer’s or parkinson’s disease.

It’s important to maintain a healthy relationship with your parents and help them in anyway you can. Here are a few tips of how to do so:

  1. Think of them as fellow adults; often as people’s bodies deteriorate and they become extremely dependent on others, they feel like they’re a child again. Try not to ‘baby’ or patronize your parents. It’s hard enough that they have to Don’t exclude them from conversations, talk with them, not about them.
  2. You have to laugh, otherwise you’ll cry: Keep your sense of humour; not only is laughter the best medicine, but it will help you stay close to your parents. You never want them to think that you resent the care you’re offering them, so a bit of laughter goes a long way.
  3. Try not to be offended: Your parents will quite often be fed up and may take that out on you at times. Try to keep your cool and remember that what a person says when they’re in pain isn’t always what they mean.
  4. Ask your relative what they would like you to do: Quite often, working adults only have an hour or so a day to pop by. Instead of assuming that it’s the dirty dishes that need to be cleaned first, consider what they would like you to do. They may want to just sit and chat. Something like helping them to buy used furniture could be useful too. It can be the smaller things that they need help with later on in life.
  5. Choose an appropriate retirement plan: If your loved one has been diagnosed with an advanced illness or requires palliative care, you may be feeling a little out of your depth. Spectrum Health care, found at, have a team of dedicated professionals who can develop a customized care plan that is flexible and adaptable to the various stages of your/their condition. Their services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week catering for the unique needs of each patient. If you don’t think this is for you, Seniors for Seniors combine quality home care services with companions close in age to our clients. They offer the opportunity for clients to share common experiences and foster genuine relationships with companions who are close in proximity to their age.

None of these tasks are easy. But equally, it isn’t easy for seniors to ask for help, especially after a lifetime of independence and taking care of others. Providing your aging loved one with the care they need can help them age in place and live a happier and more independent life.

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