Kids always see their parents as superheroes, but as they age, that belief shifts, especially when they start to need more help. When trying to understand exactly how you can help them, you need to really take a moment and figure out what form that help should, and will, take. After all, you want to make sure that you are there to help take care of them, but you don’t want to be disrespectful or take away their freedom, right?
How to best help Mom and Dad
The first step to helping your parents is by taking a “laid back” approach. There is no requirement that you become a superhero to them. Here are some points to focus on when looking at what the help you provide to your parents may look like.
- Be there for them as much as you can: From changing light bulbs to shoveling walkways, to simply helping cook and clean, whatever you can do is going to be a great help. Even if they say they don’t need the help, try to offer whatever you can!
- Consider their living situation and whether it’s the right fit: Maybe they need an easier home with smaller upkeep, or maybe they need to move to a retirement community, etc. Where they need to be will be determined by what they need and what they want.
- Consider home health care: If your parents are looking to stay in their home, you can look at hiring home health care. From personal support workers to companions that can help with chores, whatever you/they decide on can make a huge difference and may allow them to stay in their home a little longer.
- Communicate with them about their options: Let them know what the options are. Maybe it’s as simple as you moving closer, or them moving in with you. Ask them what they want and what they don’t want. The more you communicate, the easier it’ll be and it will ensure that they know you care about what they want and think, too.
Be realistic but honest
Sometimes it can be really hard to acknowledge that maybe your parents need more help than they think they do. Or, it can be really hard, in general, to see your parents struggling. Whatever the situation may be, be realistic with your needs and their needs, but also be honest. If you can’t handle the idea of helping out yourself, then consider the idea of hiring someone to be their companion or even just to do those odd jobs.
Accepting that Mom and Dad need help takes time and patience, but once you see that it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing situation, you can figure out what is going to be the right choice for your family’s needs.
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