If you are the adult child of an aging parent, we understand how difficult that relationship can be for both of you. While it is a stressful and ever changing time in your lives, it is important for adult children to understand what is needed for the longevity of their senior parents and how they can help them live a long and fulfilling life. Now is the time to take an active role in the lives of your aging parents, which includes helping them maintain their mental and physical health and wellbeing in their senior years.
How to Help Your Aging Parents in their Senior Years
According to AARP, it is important to pay close attention to access when a loved one needs help in their senior years. Sometimes, an adult child can easily tell something is not quite right with their parent, but often, it is a gradual change that might not be as obvious – especially if you do not see each other on a regular basis. Here are some changes to look for that indicate there may be an issue with your senior parent:
Signs Your Aging Parent Needs Help
It is important for adult children with senior parents to look for subtle changes that may indicate an issue. Behaviors such as:
- Ignoring favorite activities
- Forgetting established routines such as paying bills or family birthdays
- Ignoring friends
Though these signs are not always indicative of imminent danger, it is definitely worth noting and monitoring. This also indicates a good time to start accompanying your parent during doctor appointments, to ask questions and get direction as to what to expect and what to do to help your senior parent. In addition, pay close attention to conditions that risk the longevity of your parent and work together to ensure they are receiving the proper care.
Isolation and loneliness are major concerns for aging parents. Studies in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science indicate that isolation and loneliness can lead to a higher risk of mortality in senior adults. In fact, feelings of loneliness have been linked to poor cognitive performance and decline. The study also indicates that conditions such as depression, arthritis, and impaired mobility were directly associated with the social isolation of seniors.
Regular visits, phone calls, encouraging social activities, and ensuring appropriate care for your aging parent can help prevent this situation. In addition, this may be a good time to consider moving your senior parent to an assisted living community where they can receive ongoing care and companionship.
Help Increase the Longevity of Your Senior Parent
- Visit and call often
- Attend doctor appointments (if you live locally) to ensure proper care
- Encourage social activities
- Consider an assisted living community for their support
- Watch for important signs of cognitive decline
You Are Not Alone – LTLA Can Help!
It is important for adult children and seniors to successfully work together to increase the longevity of an aging parent. We know it can be difficult to do alone, that’s why the team at the Long Term Living Association is here to help. The team of trusted advisors services the full spectrum of longevity needs for seniors.
We are here to help adult children and seniors work together by providing education, information and assistance to help plan for and manage the financial, physical and cognitive challenges associated with aging. Contact the LTLA today to schedule an appointment to speak with a team member today.