Aging is inevitable. You can use as many anti-aging products on your skin to prevent the onset of aging symptoms, but the fact remains that you will grow old.
According to the Census Board of the US, by 2025, there will be over 78 million people crossing the age of 65! Additionally, as per the World Health Organization, the world’s population, which will be above 60, will double from 12% to 22%, between 2015 and 2050.
As much as you might hate the thought of your loved ones getting old, you need to accept that they will. Some of you might even have parents that are crossing the age of 60. At such a time, they require your help. Just like they helped you all your life!
Here is what you should do when aging parents require help.
- Always empathize
According to a study conducted by Jennifer Tehan Stanley and Derek M. Isaacowitz and published in NCBI, as people grow older, they tend to experience a mood trajectory.
In other words, it is easier for aging individuals to experience and sustain a feeling of annoyance, frustration, and anxiety.
As a young adult, it can seem difficult to remain patient as your aging parents depict moody behavior as well as neediness. There will be days when your parents become harsh and unpleasant to be around. Other days, they will be energetic and positive.
As their child, you should strive to remain empathetic towards your aging parents, regardless of their mood swings. Try to put yourself in their shoes and understand the reason for their frustration or unpleasantness.
Remember that aging doesn’t just bring wrinkles and joint pains. It also marks a series of losses in one’s life. As you grow older, you lose your friends, energy, ability to move without help, and your job. In other words, you lose the life you have been accustomed to for years.
It is understandable why the older you get, the more negative emotion you have. Make sure you don’t brush off your parents or invalidate their opinion during such episodes. Always be empathetic.
- Make sure they are eating healthy
Baby Boomers and Gen X of America are interested in healthy food intake. Thirty-eight percent and 48 percent of them, respectfully, are always looking for healthy food to eat.
However, this doesn’t mean that your aging parents are necessarily eating the right nutrients for their age. This is because many people are not aware that dietary needs change as you grow older.
As per the World Health Organization, aging individuals are much more prone to malnutrition than the younger populations. As you grow older, your basal metabolic rate and your lead body mass tend to decrease. Hence, the energy requirement for older people also reduces.
Some take this to mean that the older you get, the lesser you need essential nutrients. This is not the case. Your body needs even more crucial nutrients than before as you age. To best understand your parents’ dietary needs, you need to go to a doctor and review the nutrient allowance for your parents.
This will help you devise a home healthcare system that allows your parents to stay fit and ailment-free.
- Don’t leave them alone
As per Urban Institute, the lonelier you are as you grow older, the poorer your health gets.
It is easy to forget to call your parents to check up on them once your practical life starts. After all, you need to go to work, take care of your family, and pay bills. In the fast-paced life, something as simple as a phone call or visit to your loved ones can become challenging.
But, this is one challenge you need to overcome. You must make sure that your parents don’t feel lonely. This can happen even if you live with them. In this case, you must converse with your parents every other day and let them know that they are valued.
In case you don’t live with your parents, ensure that you always call them. Set up a reminder on your phone if you feel that you are too forgetful to check up on your aging parents. You might think that a mere phone call isn’t worth much. But, for your parents, it can be the highlight of the day.
- Visit doctors regularly
It doesn’t matter how healthy your parents ate their entire life or how much exercise they did. Sooner or later, diseases surround the best of us. And as you age, various ailments become quite common. This includes cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and joint pains.
To make sure that your parents are not in any discomfort or danger, you must get regular appointments with their doctors. Get different tests done to ensure that they aren’t suffering from any undetected diseases.
Seek doctors’ recommendations about their medicines and lifestyle. Alter their diet and daily routine accordingly.
Preventive health maintenance is very important. Many diseases often have no advance symptoms. So even if you feel well you can identify them before they become advanced.
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- Fix their problems
In the early days of your life, your parents provided you with a cozy home and everything you needed. When your parents begin aging, it is time to return the favor. They won’t always communicate their needs to you. Remember, it is not easy to admit that you are no longer capable of handling life issues.
So, you need to keep an eye out yourself. Whenever you go to visit your parent’s house, look at everything carefully. Is there any uneven flooring? Any hallway that needs better lighting? Or maybe pipes that are leaking?
If you detect any problem that can cause discomfort to your aging parents, repair them all.
Your parents have invested a lot of their time and energy in raising you. As they get older, you need to do the same in taking care of them.
Take care of them. Keep in touch. Fix any problems they are facing. Make the most out of the time you have with your parents.
Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia
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