‘Change is the only constant in life’ – It is wonderful how one sentence can summarise the entire story of our lives. Is it not true for all of us, especially for those now progressing towards their old age: the change being constant. While there is a transition in every aspect for an ageing person, the most significant change is declining health and stress caused due to a lot of intrapersonal factors.
As the young generation is getting busier by every single second in their day to day life, it is quite difficult for most people around 60 and above to cope up with their absence, experiencing loneliness and feeling like a waste of space. Mostly the elderly end up questioning their purpose in life and meaning behind their existence.
That being said, here are a few ways to ensure the well-being of your old parents without making them feel small or dependent on you:
1. Let them be
The elderly have their own way of doing things, even if it boils down to taking a longer route. You must understand, they come from a different school of thought. Mostly the old people believe in working hard than working smart. Just let them be and do not try to push them to do things your way, even if you mean well for your parents. They feel happy doing things their way, just let them be. It will not only strengthen your bond with them, but it will also make them believe in you that you understand them and you are there to hold them.
For an elderly person, it is very important for them to feel secure in ways big and small, especially when they are living alone. Make sure their house is well protected and have all necessary equipment to call for an emergency when the need arises. Other than physical security, you must also make sure of their emotional well-being. Check on them now and then, stay in touch and most importantly, make them feel important in your life.
3. Building new connections
It is important to build links for an elderly person other than their family – for a comforting sense of feeling that they do have connections beyond their relatives. It is imperative for you to check on your old parents to know if they are not spending their entire day alone. The best you can do for them is to help them build ties with like-minded people by finding them excellent old age care home to spend their time during the day or for short stays when you are away on a holiday. Not only will it make them happy, but they will also build new connections, feeling connected with the world. If you are looking for a great care home for your loved one, Encore Care Homes is a wonderful choice for your requirements of elderly care.
Old people usually have a tendency to go into their shell if they feel they are not received well when they want to communicate. Lack of communication, especially in the old age is bound to make your old parents experience withdrawal symptoms. It is never too late to begin afresh. Healthy communication is the best remedy for ensuring the holistic well-being of your parents or elderly loved ones.
5. Quality time
It is important for the youth of today to understand the growing need to keep close contacts in their relationships, especially with their parents. Everything is available today with a single click, however, once your parents are no more around to enwrap you with their warmth, you will regret not being around to spend some quality time with them. Plan a family holiday or a weekend out with your elderly to make them feel special, cared for and wanted.
For you, your parents are naturally transitioning to their older selves, however, what is not very evident to you is their underlying insecurities and fear of the unknown. Old age brings along with it the fear of falling sick, losing their memory, being dependent and whatnot! It is important that you make sure they are well taken care of and feel important.
Old age is inevitable and so is change; embrace it gracefully and help your old parents and the elderly loved ones do the same. Start small, let them do things their own way. Make sure they are secure both physically and emotionally and help them build new connections. Last but not least, communicate with them and spend some quality time together.
Jason Smith did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.