Helping Elderly Parents Make A Bucket List

I grew up knowing that my family was not well-off. Both my mother and father had to work full-time to provide my needs, as well as my siblings’. There were only a couple of times every year when our wish to buy toys would be granted, too: during our birthdays and on Christmas day. And while my classmates would always display their new bags and clothes on the first day of the school year, I would be there in my not-so-new clothes and the same bag that I used last year.


While many kids would hate their parents for being unable to give them luxury, though, I never felt rebellious because of it. I knew that my mom and dad were trying their best to bring food to the table. They would help us study in the evening, but when they thought we’re all fast asleep, they would take out their calculators and start planning our monthly budget. With four kids in the family, after all, it was undoubtedly hard to make ends meet. Still, I never heard my mother or father complain about our financial difficulties.

Now that I am an adult and my parents are both in their early 60s, I have insisted that they should file for retirement so that they can enjoy their life for once. According to Carol Bradley Bursack, “Seniors may wish to travel, reunite with family or friends, give back to their communities and loved ones, experience new things or simply enjoy the familiar comforts of home.” My siblings and I are still far from being millionaires, but we all have stable sources of income that will allow us to give our mom and dad the luxury that they have not had while raising us. It seems to be the best to express our eternal gratitude for their sacrifices as parents.

In conjunction with that, I encouraged my mother and father to prepare their bucket list. “A bucket list enumerates things one wants to do before one dies (kicks the bucket),” says Christopher Peterson Ph.D. Here’s what you should remember while helping your parents make one.

Find Out Their Lifelong Dreams


The first thing you should do is to figure out any unfulfilled dream that your mom and dad may still be holding on to. For instance, they may have always wanted to go to Paris and take a picture in front of the Eiffel Tower. Alternatively, your pops may wish to learn sign language, while your momma has dreamed of having a parrot.

Remind Them To Add Realistic Items

Keep in mind that the things on the bucket list should be realistic for your senior parents. “It’s not that people should stop taking dream vacations; just be aware that the caregiving life may take them down a different path,” says Marc E. Agronin, M.D. a geriatric psychiatrist. When your dad has heart-related issues, for example, he cannot possibly fulfill his desire to do skydiving. If your mom has asthma, you cannot allow her to walk until the end of the Great Wall of China.

Focus On A Few Things At First

It is also a great idea to add less than ten items in your parents’ bucket list. That will make the decision-making process easier for them, considering there are so many things that they want to do. Once your mom and dad have crossed out everything on the list, you can encourage them to make a new one.

Final Thoughts


Every hardworking parent deserves to get a break, especially when the kids they have raised are already capable of looking after them. If you love your mom and dad that much, you should help them fulfill their bucket list, too.