Everyone gets older, but no one wants to feel like they can’t still at least do most things independently. And if you are the child of a person who is dedicated to living on their own, the best thing that you can do is stay out of the way.
At the same time, supporting your elderly parent as they lead an independent lifestyle doesn’t mean that you can’t have any input. Instead, you should offer a listening ear and bring up solutions and tools that you think could aid your parent in living independently. Next up are three tips for helping your parents continue to age independently and in peace.
1. Offer Help in an Indirect Way
If you walk up to a person, offer to help, and then completely take over what they were originally doing, you aren’t really helping as much as you think. Older people want to live independently because it is what they have done their entire adult lives.
They spent years working, taking care of their families, and managing their households with no type of outside assistance. Therefore, it can be super hard for them to think that they need help in a direct manner. Try instead to do things together so that you have the opportunity to help your elderly parents, all without imposing.
2. Keep Independence in Mind
A person that is used to being taken care of might not put up much of a fight as they get older. The fact of the matter is that independence is a hallmark of adulthood.
Remember how proud of yourself you were when you landed your first apartment, got that first car, and started working full-time. Keep those prideful feelings in mind as you attempt to help your elderly parent maintain their independence.
Installing a back-up camera on your parent’s car will help them to drive independently while also keeping themselves and the general public safer. A medical alert system is also another tool that helps the elderly live independently.
Even an elderly person with a serious medical condition can live independently, in confidence, knowing that help can be on the way with the touch of a button. Go here to see how they work and determine if your parent will be better off with a medical alert system. Anything that keeps your parents more independent will be appreciated.
3. Have Solutions for the Future Stored Away
As your parents get older, they are going to need different things. At first, they might need you to help them carry the heavier grocery bags, but as time goes on you might be needed to drive them to the grocery store.
So, while your elderly parent may not need a medical alert system right now, in a couple of years it could actually be quite useful.
Consider all of the helpful solutions that are around to help your parents age gracefully and independently, and make a mental note of when to implement them.
Basically, the best form of assistance you can offer you, parents, is to always consider their feelings first. Yes, you have to be mindful of the fact that their health is going to come first.
At the same time, helping your parents should be about helping they stay independent and not necessarily doing what is going to be most convenient. You might feel better about your parents moving in with you and letting you take care of all of their medical appointments, but if that isn’t what they want, then listen carefully.
If you and your parents are lucky enough, then they will be able to be independent and take care of themselves for a long time.