If your parents are getting on in years, it’s probably crossed your mind that at some point they’re going to become less able and will need more help, even if they don’t have any particular health concerns like being diabetic, having heart trouble, or developing dementia.

This is a difficult stage in life for seniors, because they’re used to being independent and capable. They’ve lived a long life and faced its challenges for decades, raised a family, and hopefully been enjoying an active retirement. Now they’re faced with increasing frailty and reduced independence, and it can be tough to accept; so how can you help your parents to enjoy these later years in their life?

Most older people value their independence above almost anything else, so if your folks are finding it hard, don’t assume that residential care is the only option. Although a good care facility is perfect for some seniors, for many, there’s really not that much preventing them from being able to live in their own homes, provided they have some support.

Your parents might just need some assistance with household chores, or help preparing meals, for example, while being perfectly capable of retaining their independence in other ways. If you’re available you can help out yourself, or you could use the services of an agency such as inhomecare.com that provides in-home care facilities and services, such as home carers like. Qualified, approved home carers can come in and provide exactly the assistance your parents need, enabling them to stay at home; which research shows is far better for elderly people when it’s a viable alternative to residential care.

The kinds of activities your parents enjoy in their later years will depend on how they feel, and sometimes the infirmities of old age can be a barrier that prevents them from doing things they used to do. For example, they might have enjoyed playing golf in their retirement, but are now unable to manage getting around the course. Sometimes it’s possible to prolong their participation by making adaptations – for instance, if it’s the walking around the course rather than playing that’s the problem, perhaps your parents could start using a golf cart.

To take another common example, if they enjoy gardening, there are many kinds of aids to help older people continue to enjoy their planting and growing hobbies. Even if they become too infirm to walk, there are planters designed for people who are in a wheelchair to use so they can garden while seated. It’s well worth finding out about the ways in which your parents can get help to continue enjoying their pastimes as they age.

Try and be sensitive about suggestions for alternatives. Some older people who can no longer participate in their favorite activities, like golfing or gardening, are very happy to watch other people play or visit garden shows instead, whereas others would find it depressing and frustrating because it reminds them of what they can no longer do. It might be better to try something different altogether if that’s the case.

Most importantly, talk to your parents and make time for them, as one of the most precious ways they can spend their time is with their beloved children.

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