Parents and other family members are precious gifts that we have. Life sure starts and ends in a family. Hence, the need for us to look after each other, beginning with our immediate family members. Love or charity, they say, begins at home! Don’t let strife, hatred, jealousy, envy or other issues, deter you from caring for your ageing parents and other family members.
The opportunity to care for one’s parents is a privilege that no one should take for granted. The hustling and bustling of life can make some people forget to care for their parents and other family members, but this shouldn’t be. No matter what, family, especially one’s ageing parents, should be of utmost importance to one. Come on, caring for them comes with a priceless blessing and peace.
Parents spend a good part of their lives, if not a lifetime, caring for their children. Why then should the children turn around and become so busy that they ignore their ageing parents? Or feel embarrassed or burdened to care for their ageing parents?
Please, however you feel about your parents - the things you think they should have done or didn’t do for you when you were still in their care, or maybe some character attributes of theirs that you disagree with, and other things -put all those aside and care for them. Put aside every ill-feelings or grudges, genuinely love and care for your ageing parents and other family members as well as elderly ones in your communities.
You wouldn’t want to regret not caring enough or loving them enough when they are gone. Taking out time to care for your ageing parents and elderly family members will expose you to some life lessons and blessings you never imagined.
Here are some ways you can care for your ageing parents while they are still alive:
1. Assist them with house chores or cleaning
One of the leastways you can care for your parents is to assist them with house chores such as cleaning or helping them organize their things neatly. As they grow older, the strength and energy to do some house chores might not be there again. Please assist them if you live close by or pay someone to help them out once a week or bi-weekly.
Having this sort of help can boost their radiance and perhaps increase their life span. Get on it, please!
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2. Cook meals for them
Of course, you can cook meals for your ageing parents and elderly family members. Again, if you cannot do this in person or do not live close to them, several restaurants would be happy to deliver your order with love to them from time to time.
Check for restaurants around their residence to pre-order meals for them. If this is not possible where you live, check what would work where they live. Some restaurants offer delicious meals prepared with your specifications.
3. Do their laundry
You can also assist your ageing parents and elderly family members with their laundry. With washing machines and dryers, this can be done with ease. You only need to create time and do the ironing for them or contract laundry services for them.
You will be happy to see them look neat and smart even in their old age.
4. Keep tabs on their cosmetics and toiletries
Also, keep tabs on their cosmetics and toiletries. Suppose your ageing parents or elderly family members are the kinds that care about their looks, even in old age. In that case, then it will be much easier as they will inform you before their stock finishes. But, if they are not, please keep tabs on their cosmetics and toiletries such as toilet soap, deodorants, sanitary towels, tissue rolls, make-ups, etc.
It is time to care for them as ‘babies’. Please do this with all joy.
5. Take them for routine medical check-ups
Please endeavour to take your ageing parents and elderly family members for routine & comprehensive medical check-ups, at least one to two times a year
depending on their health and medical conditions. Routine check-ups will help you to know when they start developing any illness. Remember, early diagnosis is key to the treatment of any disease.
6. Spend some time with them - they need you the most now!
Oh yeah, please create and spend quality time with your ageing parents and elderly family members. They might not need any other thing rather than your presence and time with them. Understand that at this stage, relating well and spending time with them and even with their grandchildren might be worth more than anything to them.
Make out time and visit your parents. Whether they are in a care home or are still living in their house, visit and spend quality time with them.
For people in developed countries, don’t just abandon your parents in a care home. Visit them or go out for a coffee, lunch or dinner with them. Dedicate some time and go for walks with them too.
For people in developing climes, especially some parts of Africa, please stop seeing or visualizing your ageing parents or family members as being witches and wizards. They were not those when they were raising you, and now, you feel they are. Don’t be brain-washed. Visit and spend time with your ageing parents and elderly family members.
They can as well visit you at your house and spend some time with you as well. What matters is the relationship and the quality time spent together before they pass. Remember with life on our side; we will all get to that stage in life at some point.
Spending time with them also have advantages; you will be surprised by the wisdom and experiences you will gain interacting with them. You can gain some unwritten family histories that perhaps may be lost without these sorts of interactions.
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7. Supervise them yourself ‘cos they might not want to bother you.
Please, when you are with your parents or visit them, be observant. They might be going through some issues that they might think letting you know will be burdensome. Ask them some questions and check things out for yourself as well.
8. Get them simple medical equipment
Get your ageing parents and elderly family members simple medical equipment like a blood-pressure machine, adult walkers (if they need any), thermometers, etc. Don’t forget to get them food supplements and other off-the-counter multivitamins, and age-appropriate supplements as well. DO NOT take this as direct advice. Always consult his/her doctor to check what is appropriate for them.
9. Stock up food and other consumables for them.
A great way to assisting your parents in old age is to stock up foodstuff in bulk for them. They having sufficient foodstuff to last them a while, will not only save you time and money, it will also take the worry and stress of shopping off them daily.
"...Spending time with them also have advantages; you will be surprised by the wisdom and experiences you will gain interacting with them."
10. Give them financial help
Endeavour to give them up-keep money weekly or monthly as the need arises. Note that, sometimes, pension income (if any) might not be enough for them. Even though your aged parents and family members are wealthy, buying them gifts will go a long way. I think they will value such gestures.
11. Don’t see them as a disturbance
Don’t see your ageing parents and elderly family members as a disturbance or worst still, as a burden. It might not be easy to care for them, but whatsoever is good and right, sure costs something. See loving and caring for them as an opportunity rather than an inconvenience.
Taking good care of one’s ageing parents and elderly family members is not just the right thing to do; it is a worthy thing to do. If you don’t care for them, who will? The aim is to relieve them of certain stress as they age. Family is everything! If you still have ageing parents and elderly family members, count it as a blessing. Remember most times, what goes around comes around. In turn, you will also be watered and cared for when your time comes.
Let’s continue to dazzle together in our families!