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  • Nicole J. Zuvich

Caring for your parents in their senior years

Updated: Sep 27

Watching your parents age and seeing their independence fade can bring feelings of sadness and uncertainty. Thankfully, you have the chance to participate in their care.

Knowing how to provide for the needs of your parents can increase your confidence. With your help, your parents can continue to enjoy life to its fullest despite their limited function.

Give encouragement

Your parents may experience feelings of inadequacy and embarrassment when they need help doing things they could once do alone. They may also feel like their needs create an inconvenience for those providing help. Your choice to give encouragement and praise may reduce negative feelings and improve self-confidence and comfort. According to HealthinAging.org, using realistic language and repeating your thoughts often can reaffirm your love for your parents.

Some tasks can provide particular challenges to your parents. Especially if these tasks cause pain, frustration or uncertainty. When they complete these harder tasks, reinforce the behavior with compliments. Celebrating the little successes can incentivize your parents to continue to try.

Celebrate independence

Losing independence is arguably one of the hardest parts of getting older. You may have some caregiving responsibilities that you feel you could complete more effectively and efficiently without interference from the person you care for. However, preventing your parents from participating in their own self-care can create feelings of animosity and depression. Rather, celebrate their desire to maintain their independence and find creative ways for them to help.

Your decision to participate in your parents’ care can provide opportunities to create memories and strengthen bonds. You can rely on their estate plan to guide you through their long-term care preferences so you give them the support they need to continue living a happy life.

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