By Genevive Serrao
Once our parents get older, it’s only natural to want them to stay safe and happy, above all else. While it’s difficult watching a parent grow older, knowing their life will never be the same again, a few simple things could do wonders.
Even if your elderly parent exercises regularly, they may not be focusing on the right muscle groups. Want if they’re going to the gym and only using a treadmill? Not that walking isn't important, mind you. However, strength training is much more effective for helping your aging loved one stay strong. It prevents bones from becoming weak and brittle, as well as increases flexibility and range of motion, which ultimately make for greater quality of life.
Encouraging Social Interaction
Everyone needs friends—even if the visits are brief or only once a week. Your local area should have a few places where your parent could meet other seniors. Maintaining social connections has a way of keeping spirits up. Family members can’t always be there to keep their loved one company, after all. And, current research suggests that when seniors spends too much time alone, they have an increased likelihood of feeling lonely or depressed.
Many elders love nothing more than spending time with their grandchildren. Moments together can make for lasting memories. And you don’t have to live down the block to stay close. You can keep your parents in the loop by sending family photos, and if they know how to use a computer, chat via Skype.
Looking for Potential Issues
As our loved ones “age in place,” we have to keep an eye out for potential safety hazards. Something as simply as reaching for a something in a high kitchen cupboard could lead to serious injury. Check that rooms have all necessary safety features (like grab bars in the bathroom) and take the time to keep the most frequently used items in the home easily accessible.
Your elderly parent may be used to cleaning up after everyone —just as they may have always done. Perhaps you could encourage them to let go of outdated expectations and devote more time to hobbies or new interests. Hiring a cleaning service frees them from worry about scrubbing floors or keeping the bathroom clean.
What could be more satisfying than seeing your parents making the most of their golden years?
About the Author
Genevive Serrao, the contributor of this article, is currently writing for New York Housekeeping, a company specializing in maid and house cleaning services. Genevive loves playing guitar and is a Jimi Hendrix fan. You can follow Genevive on Twitter (@SerraoGen).