Dealing with Aging Parents: Advice for Adult Children

Our parents have always been our main source of support. We depended on them to help us through the tough times, and they’ve helped carry us throughout our childhood. As we age, our parents are still a major part of our lives. We may have children and live far away, but that doesn’t mean we can’t care for and support them now too.

As their health declines, adult children need to take more responsibility for their parent’s well-being when they need it most. This often means providing peace of mind to your aging parents by helping them to feel safe.

Providing a Place to Live

Often when an older person is experiencing difficulties, they will need a place where they can live for longer periods so that someone else can help them out with tasks such as medical appointments and meal plans.

However, this can be expensive and harder to set up than you may think. For example, your relative will need a place with their own bathroom, fridge, and everything that they need in order to live independently. This can change their life dramatically, as they will no longer have to worry about getting someone else or cleaning the house as often.

In some cases, an assisted care facility like is a good idea. These facilities provide a safe and comfortable place for elderly people to live out their years surrounded by professional and experienced staff.

Spending Time with Them

Spending time with elderly relatives can be a meaningful and rewarding experience for both parties. However, it’s important to ensure that your elderly relative is active and engaged during visits to avoid boredom or perpetuating any difficult behavior they may develop.

It’s not always easy to know how to deal with difficult behaviors from elderly relatives (especially elderly parents). They may be experiencing cognitive decline, chronic pain, or other health problems.

Here are some tips for how to handle difficult behaviors:

  • Try to understand the behavior – Is it a reaction to something specific? Are they in pain? Are they feeling confused or anxious?
  • Talk to your relative about the behavior – Let them know that you’re concerned and why.
  • Encourage your relative to see a doctor Cognitive decline, for example, can be treated with medication.
  • Make sure that your relative is taking care of their basic needs – If they’re not eating or drinking enough, or if they’re not getting enough exercise, this can contribute to difficult behaviors.
  • Create a routine and stick to it – This can help lessen confusion and anxiety.
  • Try to keep visits short and sweet – Long visits can be overwhelming for elderly relatives, especially if they’re dealing with cognitive decline.

Staying Connected After a Visit

After you have spent time with an elderly relative, it can be hard to stay connected. However, there are things you can do to stay connected and continue to show them that you care.

Here are some ideas for staying connected after a visit:

  • Write them a letter or postcard, or send them an email or text message letting them know you’re thinking of them.
  • Communicate with them on social media (if they are able to use social media). This way, you can see what they are up to and easily send them messages.
  • If they are not on social media, set up a regular time for a call or video chat so you can see each other’s faces.