Caring for one’s elderly parents may be challenging, but it is also fulfilling at the same time. According to Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP, “Underscoring this task and coloring most of these factors is the emotional reality that caring for an aging parent is a psychological journey.” As long as you know how to do it the right way, everything will just fall into its proper place. There are few things that you have to take into consideration so that you can ultimately make your old parents happy. Always remember that your little efforts can be a significant factor in their recovery or for the improvement of their mental health.
Check this list below:
- Affection. Be thoughtful about them all the time. Make them feel that you care for them a lot. Do not be afraid to show them your emotions. “There are psychological advantages to both giving and receiving. Giving a gift increases feelings of satisfaction and helps to reinforce relationships by positively acknowledging each other,” explains Dr. Jeral Kirwan. Be affectionate by telling them how thankful you are for the years that they have spent caring for you and everyone else in the family. Aside from this, you also need to remind them every single day of how much you love them.
- Respect. Just because they are already old does not mean that you can already ignore their suggestions or comments about some aspects of your life. Keep in mind that you are who you are today because of their endless love and care. The least that you could do is to give them the respect that they deserve. Avoid starting arguments or heated conversations with them.
- Time. Regardless of how loaded and busy you are at work or for business, make sure to find quality time to spend your parents. Even one day a week can already mean a lot to them. Hence, the best thing to do is to avoid working on the weekends. Instead, go to your old parents’ place and have lunch with them. Do not forget to bring their grandkids for a happier experience. Dr. Gary Chapman explains, “Quality time is giving someone your undivided attention. I don’t mean sitting on the couch watching television. I mean sitting on the couch with the TV off, looking at each other and talking.”
- Concern. Make an effort to ask how your parents’ day went or how they are feeling lately. They want to feel that you are concerned about their current state of mind. Strike a conversation with them and just talk about anything under the sun. Keep in mind that elderly parents also want to get updates about what is going on with your life. Do not hesitate to open up about all the things that excite you and make you feel great.
- Care. Nowadays, the availability of caregivers and personal nurses make it easy for adult children to find someone to watch over their elderly parents. This fact can also be a good thing for you. However, do not neglect the importance of caring for your parents all by yourself. If you have time, try to prepare breakfast for them or accompany them in going to the hospitals. These acts will warm their hearts.
The things listed above are not difficult to give or share to your elderly parents. As much as possible, make it a top priority to shower them with all those great gifts. Remember that no worldly possession can ever replace affection, respect, time, concern and care. You can give all of these for free!