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. Continue reading “Helping Elderly Parents Make A Bucket List”
When I am not busy working, you will typically find me volunteering at homeless shelters all over the city. You can say that it is one of the teenage passions that I have carried over to adulthood. I enjoy teaching and cooking for the less fortunate individuals in the community than drinking and partying with friends. Continue reading “Why You Shouldn’t Think Of Cost-Cutting When It Comes To Your Beloved Parents”
Most elders criticize the members of the younger generations for loving fast foods. They tend to say, “When we were your age, we’re more than happy to eat fruits and vegetables.” Thus, they get to live a long life. “The food you eat can have a direct effect on your energy level, physical health, and mood,” says Carol A. Gooch,M.S., LPC, LCDC, LMFT.
Despite that, it’s no secret that some senior citizens have embraced innovation too much, to the point that they no longer want to eat healthily. In their minds, you can only live once; that’s why you should eat whatever you want while it’s still possible.
In case your elderly parents won’t listen to you about healthy eating, here are some things you can tell them.
- You will always look and feel fresh. According to psychologists Lawrence Robinson, Jeanne Segal Ph.D., and Robert Segal, M.A., “Eating a healthy diet is not about strict limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, improving your health, and boosting your mood.” Even after eight hours, you will still have the energy to cook for your family or play with your grandkids. You will also not have to get checked by a doctor often, except for general examinations. You can do any activity you want because you are getting all the nutrients that your body needs to stay fit.
- Coughs and influenzas will rarely be a problem even if people who are infected by them surround you. After all, your immune system will be strong enough to fight such viruses. If ever you do get affected, your recovery time will be faster.
- You will never have to worry again about your weight. Some people panic when they see that they are gaining or losing weight, but if you only stick to healthy meals all day, you will never face that problem.
- Your brain will function better, so you can also perform better during the day. A study has proven that healthy eating can help you keep your mind and memory sharp even at an old age.
- You can get all the nutrients and minerals that your body needs.
- In a way, it will always make you happy because your digestion will be smooth, thanks to the fiber in your food.
- You will have glowing skin, and you will not have to drink or apply any chemically infused products that may have side effects on you later on.
- It will make you live longer. Now you know the secret of the oldies who are already in their 80s but still seem stronger than other people younger than them.
If you have aging parents, it is recommended that you begin changing their diet into a healthier one. They are more prone to diseases than ever, so they need to eat real foods that can replenish the nutrients in their bodies. There are many adults right now who have kept on just eating burgers and sweets in their childhood and are now regretting it, so do not let them live that way.
It is great to be on this earth without having to worry about acquiring many illnesses or other health-related problems. Besides, you will feel clean inside and out because you are not eating much crappy food already that does nothing but add empty calories to your body.
Enforcing a proper diet is not a bad thing. No matter how old you are now, do not think that you are already too old to change your food lifestyle. After all, it is still better late than never. “In reality, having a healthy relationship with food involves indulging along with being flexible and kind to yourself,” stated Rachel Goldman, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist focused on health and wellness.
“Is adding dark chocolate on your healthy eating plans a good idea?”
This is the question that a lot of people ask, especially by the chocolate lovers who find it challenging to get rid of this yummy treat completely. Yes, it is hard to let go of this delicate chocolate, so you may be thrilled to know that dark chocolate is an excellent addition to your diet.
There have been whispers before that dark chocolate is great for your health. No, these are not made up by chocolate manufacturers who want to earn more profits. According to some studies, what makes dark chocolate better and healthier than other kinds of chocolate is the substantial amount of cocoa left in the product. White or milk chocolate tastes sweet because there are more sugar, milk solids, and other additives in it than cocoa, you see. And since chocolates go through the heating process, that little content gets even smaller. Dark chocolate, on the other hand, is bittersweet, but the health benefits of cocoa are still intact.
In case you still can’t decide whether you should give dark chocolates to your elderly parents, here are more reasons why you should do it.
Blood Pressure Normalization
Some researches show that dark chocolates have cocoa polyphenols. These are micronutrients that help reduce a person’s blood pressure without affecting their body weight. The change may not happen as soon as you take a bite on your dark chocolate, but you will eventually see it. Not to mention, you must admit that it tastes better than any medicine prescribed by your doctor.
Combats Free Radicals
The nutrients in dark chocolate improve the movement of your arteries. Aside from that, its antioxidants are great against free radicals that cause heart diseases and even some forms of cancer. This function is especially beneficial for aging individuals who are prone to such illnesses.
Bad Cholesterol Decline
Dark chocolate should be eaten by people who have high levels of bad cholesterol. It is also great for those who want to reduce weight because eating it makes you lose your appetite and get more energy. Furthermore, it has fiber that can aid in your digestion process, as well as magnesium that reduces risks of blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
If you are feeling sad, get a piece of dark chocolate, and you will have a better outlook on life. After all, cocoa can enhance your mood by aggregating the dopamine activity of your brain. Your parents may feel not so lonely when they can eat it.
Getting darker chocolate is better than having dark chocolate, of course. However, you should know that you may still gain extra pounds if this is all you eat every day. If you munch on dark chocolate nonstop, its health benefits will inevitably be overpowered by its high levels of calorie. Moderation is the key to everything.
We hope that the information above will make you feel less guilty of giving chocolates to your elderly parents. Cheers!
“As they age, our parents might need more help,” says Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. Everyone needs to start making it a top priority to take good care of his or her parents, especially those who are already in their advanced years. Keep in mind that you must see to it that your senior parents receive the best kind of love and care from you. Otherwise, they will end up getting hurt, which can be crucial as they grow old. According to a therapist, the more a parent grows old, the more he becomes needy for love and attention. Because of this, it is every child’s duty, regardless of age, to meet the mentioned needs.
Psychology suggests it is essential for the total well-being of aging parents that their relationship with their children remains intact as time goes on. Nowadays, it has become a norm that aging elders and parents live with the families of their children. It is the time that grown-ups show back their love to their parents by providing them this time the comfort of life physically, mentally, and emotionally.
“Whether well planned or a sudden emergency, this a challenging task,” according to Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP.
The first thing we should keep in mind for taking care of our aging parents is to look around our place of abode. If our parents before busied themselves by turning your home into a child-friendly one, it is your time now to turn your house into an aging-parent-friendly home. “Simple adjustments don’t require a lot of money but can make a big difference”, Bryan Oden says.
While each case is unique, here are some of the basic guidelines that you have to keep in mind in turning your house safe and warm for aging parents:
Install Sufficient Lighting
The first problem that aging parents encounter involves mobility. They may not be able to see and recognize stuff around the house that much absent any proper lighting. Most of the time, the primary culprit behind accidentally falls, broken bones, cuts, and head injuries is the poor lighting installed in accident-prone areas of our home.
Add more lighting or better yet, install brighter lights on every corner of the house. Give more attention if the bathroom and the kitchen have sufficient lighting because these are areas prone for accidental slips.
Educate Other Family Members
It is essential that the other family members can follow about why certain house modifications are happening. It is vital that they know that the safety of your aging parents is one of the utmost priority here, so when confronted with some unforeseeable problem, they know what to do first.
Members of the family should know how to call for help should an emergency occurs. Everyone in the household should know where the emergency hotlines are, who to call for help, and the proper and necessary protocols should a mishap happen inside the house. Each should recognize the signs of health emergency and should have adequate knowledge in giving the appropriate first aid. They should also be able to respond without panicking.
Make sure every bathroom in your house is safe for your aging parents. Install proper and brighter lighting, provide non-slip mats, and put grab bars within their reach. Some people opt to put a built-in bench inside the shower to turn it into a step-free entry. Also, check the locks to avoid any possible lock-in incidents.
Consider also how high or low the toilets should be. Low toilets may become a burdensome for them, especially that most of our aging parents have a problem in bending. Keep in mind also where the toiletries are. Don’t put them in high cabinets that would make it hard for them to reach should they need some. Remember that their aging legs and knees make it hard for them to move around, stand up for long, and to tiptoe, especially in slippery places like the bathroom.
Provide Easier Access And Opening
Check your doorknobs and reconsider the sliding doors in your home. It is undeniably hard for the aging parents to open (especially slide-open) and close more massive doors. Take note also springing or self-closing doors that may hit your parents, especially if they have already problems with mobility.
Take an indoor tour of the whole house and check if your stuff arrangement and even the color of the walls are conducive for your aging parents’ relaxation. Repair any cracked furniture and floors. Remove any clutter on the floors. Check if your own children’s toys (balls, bikes, Lego bricks) are tucked correctly in their proper places.
Call Someone To Help
If you still feel that your house is not that safe yet for your aging parents, do not ever be shy to call a professional one to help you in your new home arrangements. You can request any occupational or physical therapists or aging care experts in your area to inspect your house and advise you of what you can do more.
Creating a safe place inside the walls of your home is one of the best things that your aging parent will thank you for forever. More often than not, they may not say this all the time, but the comfort of life starting in the confines of the home is what they always desire. The above tips are not that hard to follow, primarily if we educate the other family members for this endeavor.
“In many instances you will need to contact social services for help determining alternate living and care options for your loved one,” shares Carol Bradley Bursack.
If you feel yourself on the edge of burnout, take a look at some of these tips we’ve compiled for you below. They might just be what you need to get you out of that rut. After all, your mental health comes first before everything else. According to psychologist Diana Raab Ph.D., “Being emotionally well doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re happy all the time, but rather, that you’re self-aware and able to shift as a way to feel better.”
Your aging mom and dad may be struggling a little in doing everything they used to do, but it doesn’t mean that we’ll just let them give up on keeping up with what’s new and maintaining what they still have. Physical and mentalhealth can still improve or be maintained. We as children can still help our loving parents have an awesome quality of life, lengthen their lifespan, and make sure that they have something worthwhile to do – with or without us.
The guidelines of the CDC for physical activity are the constant for all adults, no matter how old. This suggests that being too old to exercise is out of the question. According to Dona Matthews Ph.D., “You can make time for creativity, play, outdoor time, nature exploration, community involvement, the arts, science experiments, or project learning.” Even seniors who’ve been living sedentary lives are encouraged to be physically active so that they can stay fit and healthy. Let us look at some of the activities you can do with your aging parents to keep them maintain their physical and mental health regardless of age.
Low Impact Sports
Basic courses in dancing, golf, and other low to moderate impact sports provide wonderful means of challenging your beloved seniors’ bodies and minds. You can pay for these classes as your birthday or Christmas gift to them. If you have a shy aging parent, this can be your way of encouraging them to get out, get moving, and meet new friends.
According to Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D., “Yoga increases body awareness, relieves stress, reduces muscle tension, strain, and inflammation, sharpens attention and concentration, and calms and centers the nervous system.” The gentle stretching, breathing, and balancing techniques in yoga can alleviate joint pain, stiffness, and tension. Yoga can be a great starter activity for sedentary seniors. For parents who are seasoned sports enthusiasts, they can always do yoga for cool down and relaxation. It’s a great cure for stress, and it also relieves minor injuries and mobility problems.
This is one of the most suitable physical activities for our aging parents. It burns a lot of calories, stimulates the entire body, and yet doesn’t cause joint pain, unlike jumping rope, running, or other aerobic exercises. If you want, you can join them in their classes. There’s a range of movements from simple, moderate, and competitive. There are gymnasiums or village swimming pools that offer free or discounted rates for seniors. Take advantage of these.
Arts And Crafts
According to Nicole Pipitone, MAAT, LPC, “Art therapy establishes communication between people and allows a person to find a sense of clarity or understanding that may be difficult to do by using words alone.” Knitting, scrapbooking, and painting are mentally challenging arts and crafts activities that are relatively doable for every adult age level. These will enable your parents to preserve and even improve their fine motor skills, especially when they do a new technique daily. They can do these activities on their own at home or join a club or group in the neighborhood so they can socialize.
Tell your aging parents that you bought them arts and crafts membership cards for them. That would probably motivate them especially if you tell them it wasn’t cheap. When they’ve been joining the club for a few months, ask them to teach you what they learned from it. If they’ve mastered knitting, then let them teach you and the grandkids – make it a family tradition or something. It’ll surely make them proud and flattered. It would also increase their interest in learning new activities.
The outdoors offer loads of vitamins, which aging parents particularly need to prevent bone problems like osteoporosis. Vitamin D is also a weapon against depression and anxiety. However, for seniors who really don’t have the knack for exercise whether it’s outdoor or indoor, here are a few options to make your parents get up from that chair and spend quality time outdoors.
- Most of our aging parents love to tinker in the garden, so invest in things that make this hobby easier for them. You can buy them raised beds that they can take care of while standing.
- Walking and hiking clubs. They’ll love not only the walks but also the talks.
- Short vacation in the woods. If you can spare some extra, pay for a week’s vacation for your parents to stay in a cabin in the woods.
Retired life is a great time for your parents to travel if they’re well and able. Exploring other states or other countries can add vigor and strengthen their relationship as a couple, even if they’re already old. After all, building and strengthening bonds doesn’t depend on age. Cruising is also one great adventure for them, especially if they love traveling by boat. The entertainment, the food, and the music will stimulate them.
Remember that although your parents are considered seniors, they’re not limited to doing activities only under the ‘senior’ category. Allow them to feel young and let them discover their capabilities. Work with them on some activities. Accommodate your parents’ changing needs and desires. It’s not forever that we get to be with them.
One of the inevitable things that you will eventually face in life is dealing with aging parents or those who are already in their senior years. Whether you like it or not, it is your responsibility to connect with them because they are the reasons why you are in this world. Take note that your family will never exist were it not for your loving mother and father. Now that they are already in their old age, it is time to repay them for all the sacrifices that they have made to help you succeed.
Unfortunately, adult children and senior parents get into fights and misunderstandings because of poor communication. “So it’s important to take a deep breath before having a conversation about a sensitive topic and recognize the feelings that you have about the issue,” according to Dr. Amy D’Aprix. For this reason, we have decided to dedicate our next article on the site to talk about effective communication tips that one can use in dealing with an aging parent. Here are some of the things that you can do:
According to Christina Steinorth, MFT, a psychotherapist, “Aging is a series of losses — loss of employment, health and energy, friends, mobility, and independence.” Consider how you’d feel if you were in their situation.” Remember that the circumstances for you and that of a senior parent are different from each other. You cannot expect him to be the same individual that he was ten or twenty years ago. Remind yourself that everything is changing in his life and it can be scary. He may not show it, but your parent is probably thinking of how old he is already.
Together with it is the thought that he is no longer as strong and great as he is in the past. For this reason, you have to increase your empathy around him. Imagine being in his shoes so that you can become a more understanding child.
Now that you have understood the significance of empathy, the next thing that you have to remember is to let your senior parent know that you are more than willing to converse with him. Never make the mistake of showing him that you are too busy at work or in business. Otherwise, he may end up hating or resenting you for it.
Of course, you cannot afford it if your parent will feel remorseful against you. Hence, you may end up becoming the bad guy in the family. What is essential is to connect with your parent regardless of your hectic schedule. Keep in your mind that he may not be around for long in your life.
Make Phone Calls
If your aging parent leaves away from you, especially if he is staying in a nursing home, the least that you could do is to make regular phone calls to him. Never give him an idea to start thinking that you have abandoned him. It will surely crush his heart into tiny little pieces. Instead, connect to him in another way.
Consider yourself lucky because nowadays, you can already enjoy the various advancements in technology. Pick up your cellphone today and dial the number of your beloved parent. He will surely be happy to receive a call from you.
Be A Good Listener
Many people make the mistake of thinking that communication involves talking and speaking only. What they do not know is that it also covers listening. When talking to your parent, be sure to practice the art of listening thoroughly to the other person. As already mentioned above, there is a high chance that you will suffer from a severe illness if you do not calm down.
For every conversation that you have, make sure to show him that you are listening to what he is saying. As such, do not hesitate to ask questions or clarifications from him. It will make him feel validated knowing that you are listening to him even if you are already an adult.
Choose The Topics
As much as possible, avoid talks or topics that can put spark an argument between you and your parent. For example, do not raise money talks if your beloved parent is not comfortable discussing it. He may be suffering from a financial loss and talking about it will break his heart. If there are sensitive topics to discuss, maybe the smart thing to do is to check whether he is in a good mood to talk or not.
The safe topics can include updates about his grandchildren or his favorite movies and TV shows that he now enjoys watching. Make sure to put this in mind so that you can prevent hurting the feelings or emotions of your parent.
Senior parents may be challenging to deal with, but everything is easy if you know how to do the things mentioned above. Remember that the basic foundation of any relationship to parents is respect. Just because your parent is already aging does not give you the right to feel like you are already above them. Show respect to an aging parent by following his requests. Follow the effective communication tips mentioned above for more clients. “Talking with your parents about tough issues is not easy. But if approached the right way, it can strengthen and enrich your relationship with each other and be a tender way of expressing your love and care for them,” says GARY GILLES, LCPC.