Every stage of life has its perks, so when we see our parents growing older, we naturally see those common health issues arise, and we want to help them adapt to this quickly changing world. They might have had flourishing careers, but not every elderly person has the patience to master new skills and figure out new technology over the years.
Not to mention the feelings of loneliness for those who have lost their spouse, maybe got divorced, or those who have changed their living situation to move into a retirement home.
In any situation, aging in different stages means your parents will have different problems and different perspectives to define their lives. Your role is changing. You are no longer the one who needs caring for, but the one providing the care. In this transition, your parents might find it more or less challenging to find new hobbies, interests, or establish new connections in life. This is where you can help them to a great extent!
Make time for shared activities
As their kids, you have a unique chance to give product suggestions and guidance that comes from the heart. Even if you lead a busy life, you should look at your schedule carefully and set aside as many in-person sessions to spend some quality time with your parents.
Set aside, for example, Saturday mornings for a shared breakfast in their favorite eatery, followed by a stroll in the park, or a movie marathon. You can join them for dance classes – aging parents will typically feel more inclined to try new things when they get your support. Sign up for a cooking or painting course to have some fun. Everything you do can be creative and conducive to bonding.
Encourage them to connect with their peers
Apart from their lifelong friends and neighbors, do your parents have a tendency to meet new people and expand their social circle in any way? Companionship is vital for every aging person, and social groups for seniors can be a wonderful opportunity to help your parents connect with their peers. Online communities turn to in-person get-togethers and experiences, while the built-in security screening makes it easier for your parents to stay safe while meeting new people.
These connections can turn into refreshing friendships and partnerships that will boost your parents’ self-esteem, sense of wellbeing, and not to mention that they’ll keep them engaged in many different ways.
Look for local events to attend
With the exception of the pandemic, your aging parents should be able to enrich their social lives through more than just coffee dates and book discussions. Help them navigate the online world if they have any trouble doing so, to find local events that they’d be interested in. Offer to sign them up for culture newsletters to keep them informed of any upcoming theater performances, gallery exhibitions, concerts, and the like.
Sometimes, you can invite them yourself and share the experience. Every single one of these events is a brilliant way to learn more of their views and opinions, while they can also turn it into a routine with their own social circle.
Get them moving
Depending on how busy you are, you might not be there for your mom and dad every single day of the week to get them outside for a brisk walk or organize a hike in nature. Aside from those shared activities that will help you bond and deepen your connection, you should entice them to take up a physical activity to protect their ability to move around freely, manage potential illnesses, and stay mobile and flexible.
Whether they are retired, or they are still working on occasional projects, help them create a schedule that includes plenty of physical activity. Walking, dancing, aerobics classes designed specifically for the elderly, and similar exercise programs are a great way to protect your parents’ health and wellbeing as they age.
Explore games to keep their minds agile
In addition to keeping your parents entertained with a rich schedule, you should incorporate certain activities and games that are designed to keep their cognitive skills sharp and resilient over the years. For instance, encourage them to join a local or online book club to keep reading relevant literature and have fun at the same time.
These lively discussions and philosophical debates will allow them to expand their vocabulary well into their old age and continue training their mind to grasp new concepts and ideas. They can also use an app to learn a new language in their free time, but they can also play memory games like Mahjong or math-based games like Sudoku.
Your parents might have lower energy levels than in their youth, but they still have the zeal to savor life and to make the most of their retirement and silver years. As their children, we have the responsibility to help them adjust to this complex and ever-changing world, learn new skills, and stay sharp and active for as long as possible. In doing so, we’ll provide them with a valuable life filled with meaningful experiences, and we’ll encourage their independence.