Thursday, August 22, 2019

18 Simple Ways of Caring for Aging Parents

Today, August 21, the Philippines is commemorating the assassination of Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. So, this holiday is called Ninoy Aquino Day and classes /work are suspended.

But there's another reason to celebrate August 21 as it is also the World Senior Citizen's Day, which is observed by all UN Member States. So, this day is a good time to show our aging parents or grandparents how much we love, respect and honor them.



Would you like to know simple ways you can give back to your parents to thank them for all they have done for you and your family? Here's a list of some ideas that you can do to share simple pleasures with the special seniors in your life.

Creating these moments of love and happiness won't require spending a lot of money or time, but they would mean a lot.



1. Just listen. 

Even if you think you already know that same old story that your parents are going to tell, still give your parents your full attention. By doing so, you're letting them know that what they have to say is valuable to you.

2. Give flowers. 

Even if there's no special occasion, you can brighten their day by giving them some flowers or a potted plant with flowers.

3. Share photos. 

Some old folks don't use Facebook where they can see photos of their grandkids. But even if they have an FB account, it would still be a great idea to printout photos of their grandkids and frame them or make an album. I'm sure that they would really love that.

4. Sing their song.

If you have a minus one of their favorite old songs, play them and sing along. That would surely make them smile. If you don't have one, then buy a CD of oldies music. That would surely bring back their high school memories or those unforgettable moments.

5. Do a happy dance. 

Get them up on their feet, if they still can. Then try a little ballroom dancing with them or do the twist.

6. Enjoy nature.

Spend some quiet time with them watching a sunset or listening to the sound of the breeze. Watch as the trees change color in the fall or glistening with ice during winter.

7. Laugh out loud.

Laughter is the best medicine. Make them laugh with a joke or a funny story. Tell about the silly things you experienced while growing up.

8. Give a warm hug. 

The gift of touch is vital to our emotional wellbeing. However, there's a tendency that older people receive less of it. Hug your parents or squeeze their hands every time you come and go.


Here are Ten More Simple Ways to Show You Care That Take Longer Than a Few Minutes

1. Read a book. 

Read to them whether from a novel, a magazine or newspaper. Give them large print books if they like reading them.

2. Watch TV. 

Instead of tinkering with your little gadget, gather the family to watch the TV with them. Watch an old movie or TV show.

3. Write a personal letter. 

Give them something that is memorable. Don't email, instead, drop your letter in their mailbox.

4. Find a pet.

A pet dog or cat could be a great companion to your parents. If circumstances allow, find a pet that could give them some affection and enjoyment. Find out if there are therapy animals in the community that could visit them.

5. Workout.

Taking a short walk around the block is good. Or you could bring them to nearby exercise classes for seniors

6. Eat together.

Prepare lunch and eat together. Whether in the dining room or in the backyard, it would be a fun time.

7. Make time for their grooming.

It becomes trickier to practice grooming in the later years. So, bring your mother whenever you go for a haircut or a manicure. Buy your father a grooming kit and cut or shave your father if he prefers privacy.

8. Clean the house for them. 

Add this to your chores list. Make it fun and be sure to eat your favorite cookies and tea with them afterwards.

9. Volunteer with them.

Your parents would probably want to feel that they can still help other people. Make it possible by volunteering with them. It could be by teaching English to recent immigrants or sorting food at a local pantry.

10. Go on an outing.

Staying home all the time can be very lonely. So, take your mother and father out one afternoon and go to the park, a local museum or a shopping mall. You could also plan an outing so they can mingle with other families in the community.

There are simple pleasures that can make each stage of life more enjoyable and meaningful. Even when there may be struggles in your and your aging parents' roles and circumstances, facing the changes together will draw you closer to each other and make life worth living.

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