There can’t be a more exciting time in your life than when you’re in your twenties and thirties, discovering all that life has to offer as you stride out into the world on your own. There comes a time, however, when it’s not just about how much fun you’re having or how exciting your life is. When your parents reach retirement and beyond, your relationship with them will change, but one thing is for certain: if they were there for you, you need to be there for them.
Making the Time
We all acquire more responsibilities in our life. Between our jobs, own family, friends, and bucket list goals, there’s not much time to fit in anything else. But think of it from your parent’s point of view. While you’re coming into the prime of your life, their world is getting smaller and smaller. Without a job to go to and a minimal social network, you’ll be a real source of joy when you visit. Make the time to be there for them; don’t just stop in for a few minutes.
Sharing the Interests
Parents can be pretty stuck in their ways, but deep down there’s a part of them that’s interested in discovering more about life. The only problem is, they might not be as able to discover these new interests as they once were. This is where you come in. If you discover something that your parents might enjoy, make a note of it and mention it to them. You can also get tickets to shows or events you think they’d like and take them as a surprise.
Helping as Needed
As people age, they’re naturally less able to do all the things they were once able to do, like driving or lifting heavy things. If you notice that your parents are finding it harder to do the basic daily tasks that make up life, it might be worth looking at home care options to ensure they’re still able to live a full life. If you’re noticing a slightly decrease in mobility and strength, then you can offer to do things like do their food shopping or drive them to their appointments. They’re small gestures, but they’ll be appreciated.
One thing that won’t be appreciated is if you only turn up at their home to assess if they’re still coping with life. You’ll naturally be concerned about them, which they’ll appreciate, but they don’t want to feel like you’re only coming to visit to review them. You can keep one eye on their ability to do daily tasks without making it obvious.
They’re in Control
One thing that understandably drives all people up the wall as they age is the feeling that they’re losing control of their lives. This happens to everyone, but it can cause tension if a person feels like this loss of control is coming from their own children. Always be respectful of their autonomy, and never do anything against their wishes unless it’s essential.