Maintaining a Healthy Relationship With Your Aging Parents
A relationship with your parents when they become seniors is new territory. Many different challenges can arise, like health concerns, retirement, assisted living/nursing homes, and finances. Your parents have been helping and supporting you your entire life, but now the tables are turning. So, how can you keep your relationship with your parents healthy during this tough transition?
1. Open Communication: Your parents (or you) will need to make important decisions as they age, such as new living conditions and health decisions. It's important to discuss their preferences when it comes to living situations, health issues, and finances. There are many important questions you should discuss with your parents, such as:
• Do you have a will?
• Do you have a power of attorney?
• Where is all of your important paperwork (tax files, insurance policies, financial accounts, etc.)?
• When you need assistance, how would you like to handle it? (assisted living, home caregiver, move in with family)
• What are your end-of-life wishes?
• What are your memorial wishes?
While these questions may be difficult to ask, having these types of discussions can prevent tension and misunderstandings in the future. It can also be beneficial to ask questions to get to know your parents better, like their favorite childhood memories or how your parents met each other.
2. Make Time For Your Parents
Whether you live ten minutes away or ten hours, make time for your aging parents as often as you can. Your parents spent their lives raising you and making time for you, and now it's your turn. Your parents may not be able to travel long distances as they age, so going to visit them and bringing grandchildren (if they have them) will help maintain a healthy relationship. Simply spending time together, talking, and reminiscing can be a beautiful way to learn more about the people who have loved you and sacrificed so much for you.
3. Find an Activity to do Together
When you were growing up, did you spend time golfing with your dad? Baking with your mom? Watching your favorite sports team as a family? These traditions from your childhood provide great activities that you and your parents can enjoy. If physical limitations occur and you can't go golfing together anymore, watch golf together and talk about your favorite memories on the course! Doing something you both enjoy while getting to spend time together will bring a smile to both of your faces.
Watching your parents age can be difficult. However, making sure that they are in a safe, healthy, encouraging environment can bring you peace of mind. Are you interested in exploring assisted living or supportive living options for your loved one(s)? Schedule a tour or give us a call at Evergreen Place - (309) 451-9355 or Evergreen Village - (309) 452-7300 to learn more!