Roles get reversed when our parents age. Back then, they were the ones scrambling all over the place just to make sure you are safe, healthy and happy. They need the same treatment from their children as they age gracefully. Here are some tips on helping aging parents.
Print a large directory of all the things your parents need for their daily, leisurely and emergency use. Make sure you include doctors’ numbers, local pharmacy numbers, food delivery numbers and emergency contact details of the police and fire department. Add these numbers on their mobile phones as well and don’t forget to add you contact details on speed dial. The more accessible the directory is the easier it is for them to do their daily and not so daily routines.
Get you kids to help around as well. If they are old enough, let them drive for their grandparents and help them with their grocery shopping and other errands. Younger kids can volunteer to do the lawn, wash the dishes and other household chores. They can even provide lively company for your parents as well.
Be realistic on what you can and cannot do. Being a caretaker for your parents, your own family and a career person will drain you faster than you’d expect. Ask for help if necessary.
Do consult your parents for any decision that you’ll make on their behalf. They might be offended, angry or depressed if they feel that their children are taking over their lies and undermining them. Remember that they are still your parents and they still have a say in things.