Now that you are already an adult, you probably spend most of your time doing work at the office or running your own business. Sometimes, you will feel that the twenty-four hours you get a day are no longer enough for all the things you want to do. Because of this, there is a high tendency that you will miss spending time with your aging parents. While this is only typical of an adult, it is not an excuse for doing it regularly.
Make sure that you do something about this situation. “You can’t change what your aging mom is experiencing. What you can do is provide help and support,” says Maud Purcell, LCSW, CEAP. Below are some of the common things that most adult kids forget when it comes to caring for aging parents:
- They Need Your Time
Even if your parents are already old enough to take good care of themselves, it does not mean that your mom and dad no longer need your attention. The truth is that they are always looking forward to spending some quality time with you. While you are busy with work and your personal life, your parents are just at home waiting for your time to visit them.
Take note that calling your parents on a regular basis is not sufficient. At the same time, sending them gifts every week just to let them know that you care is still insufficient. They prefer seeing you during the weekends, cooking something special for dinner, playing board games with you or listening to your stories. “Physical activity is key for improving mood, endurance, balance and strength and delaying cognitive decline,” according to Christina Steinorth, MFT, a psychotherapist said.
- They Are Not Disabled
One of the most common mistakes that adult children make is thinking that their senior parents are already incapable of doing the daily activities that they used to do. Do not make the same mistake of thinking that your aging parents are already disabled. Keep in mind that they are only increasing in age, but that does not mean that they are disabled.
As such, avoid treating them like a baby. Do not make them feel that you are overprotecting them. The best thing to do is just to let them do what they want to do. If you are concerned with their condition, try to hire a professional nurse or caretaker who can watch over them. Just make sure to get your parents’ consent before engaging one.
- They Can Take Care Of Themselves
This is somewhat related to the second item listed above. Did you know that your senior parents want you to back off? Stop trying to make decisions for them because they can still do it freely and independently. Avoid putting them in a situation or place where they could not say anything or give any comment at all. Again, take note that they are only aging but they are still capable of choosing what is best for them. Whether you like it or not, your parents can take care of themselves without you following them in every step they take. Just believe that they are still in their sound mind to make smart decisions. The only time that you can interfere is when the error or mistake is so apparent.
Remember all these so that you will not annoy or upset any of your senior parents. They will appreciate you more if you are mindful of these things about caring for aging individuals. Just keep your cool, because your parents know what they are doing. According to Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP, “Understanding the situation and normalizing the responses of both you and your parent reduces anxiety and facilitates acceptance and functioning.”