Tuesday 10 October 2023

Tips For Taking Care Of Ageing Parents, Even If Your Own Life Is Hectic

When our parents get old, it can mark a real change in our lives. More than ending a relationship, and more than moving long distance and standing on your own two feet. When your parents get elderly and need a little assistance to live their usual lives, it feels like the end of an era. 

Not only that, but the heap of responsibility might start getting to you as well. So, for those with an already hectic life, wanting to provide better care for an ageing parent who you love a lot requires some tips.

Image c/o Pexels

Have a Weekly Lunch Date

Being in your parents’ lives is rarely a bad thing. That’s why you should schedule a weekly lunch date between you. Take it in turns to take each other somewhere nice; you need to eat anyway, so why not combine the two activities?! And when you see them once a week, there’s not as much pressure compared to trying to visit them two to three times, or even calling them every day. 

Don’t Force a Conversation, Be Creative!

It can sometimes be hard to talk to elderly relatives, no matter how close you are, thanks to just how different the two of you can be. And when you’re super busy, you’re going to be focused on a lot of other things, rather than how many times a week you give your parents a call! 

That doesn’t mean you should put off the conversation though. Don’t force one, as that’s boring and makes you feel awkward. Try to be creative with what you say - use interesting icebreakers to get the two of you thinking, or throw out a bit of gossip you’ve heard that week and see what your parent has to say. The more fun it is to talk to each other, the more you’re going to do it and do it well. 

Extend Your Home

If you want your parents to live nearer, or to even live with you, you can extend your home by building a granny flat. This is a self-contained, self catering, semi-studio apartment that’s great for ageing people who still want to retain their independence. 

You’re still close by, but you’re separated, and for the most part can lead your own lives. Your mum or dad can pop round for dinner a few times a week, or have a drink ready when you get home from work, but you have your own spaces and can use them how you like. 

Get Your Own Support

Even if it makes you feel bad that you can’t, it’s impossible to do everything. You’ve got your own life to lead! But you can still be there for your parents. You can ask a neighbour to check in, or hire someone to go round in the morning and help clean the house. You’re still doing your bit, just from further away. 

Remember, for ageing parents, it’s possible to take care of each other without stressing out. 


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