As you and your parents age, you will likely find that the roles of caregiver and care receiver start to flip. Your parents cared for you when you were a small child until you were able to handle life on your own. But as your parents age, they will likely need more assistance and care and thus, your roles will reverse. This can be due to a number of factors, from memory loss and limited mobility to more difficult medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s. You may need to turn to daily in-home senior care services or end-of-life care to help out with your parent’s’ medical needs, but you are still and will always be an important presence in your parents’ lives.
Spending time with your aging parents, especially during the holidays, is one of the most crucial things you can do at this point in their life. While they may need more care, they may not want their needs to always be your focus. Spending quality time with your parents, separated from care, can be a great way to enrich your life and theirs.
Visit When Possible
If you live across the country from your parents, it’s not reasonable to expect daily, weekly, or even monthly visits. Depending on your circumstances, you may consider moving closer to your family members during this time in their life. This may not be feasible for many, and so making sure to visit whenever possible is often the best compromise. Make sure to see your parents on holidays, and really make those visits count while bringing them holiday cheer! Holidays can be especially hard and lonely for your loved one, particularly because it can stir up feelings of nostalgia and longing for a time and people in their lives that may have long passed.
Between visits, you can also take a few minutes to send letters or make phone calls. Hearing from you frequently can greatly improve your parents’ spirits! If you are lucky enough to live nearby, stop in at least once a week to catch up.
Looking at old family photo albums and videos is one excellent way to spend time with your parents. As they near the end of their life, they will want to spend time reminiscing about everything they’ve accomplished. Share in those memories with them by bringing photo albums, or look through theirs with them to understand more about their own stories and past. Who knows, you may learn something about each other you never knew!
Another great way to make new memories or reminisce about the past is to help put up Christmas or holiday decorations together! You can talk about all the silly ornaments that were your favorite as a kid, or bring up old family stories. This will help lift their morale and bring them joy during what can sometimes be a difficult time for many.
Make It a Family Trip
If you have a partner or kids, bring them along to see your parents. Many elderly people suffer from limited interaction with others, so the more smiling faces, the better! Many grandparents take great joy in seeing their grandchildren, as grandchildren are living proof of their legacy. And children can learn great things from their grandparents, taking advantage of their wisdom regarding life lessons about their family as well as the world as a whole.
If you need more guidance on coping with aging parents or about how our Albuquerque senior care services can provide help for your loved one in the comfort of their own home, get in touch with our team today!