Like most of our children, you probably have mixed feelings about your parents growing older. You might feel guilty spending time with them instead of doing things for yourself. Or perhaps you feel anxious about what will happen to them; after all, they did for you, the least you can do is be there to help care for them when they get sick or need special attention. For their exceptional care, many senior care centers such as Lakewood senior care understand the complexities of aging and ideally provide special care to the senior people.
These feelings are common and natural. However, spending some extra time with your aging parents can be one of the best gifts that you give yourself this year; here are five reasons you should make time for your parents, even if they seem like a lot of work sometimes:
Reminiscing brings comfort & joy
Think back with your parents on some special events in their lives, especially when they were younger than today, yet still vital and fun-loving. Reminiscing about these memories gives them a sense of joy and satisfaction while reminding you of how it felt when you were young and just starting. It’s a beautiful way to connect again, even if just one evening a month.
You’ll have a better understanding of who they are
The older we get, the harder it is for us to communicate with others in an open and meaningful way. Remembering who your parents were when they were younger helps to fill in this gap between the person you’ve been told about all your life vs. the person they are today! In turn, having a better understanding of their personality will allow you to more effectively deal with issues that might come up between you two down the road.
You’ll be more prepared for their future needs
It is often said that “no one can prepare themselves” for the aging process, at least not thoroughly. However, spending time with your parents while still healthy allows you to see firsthand what kinds of activities they like to participate in and how much help they need (or don’t). If you have any good ideas about senior housing facilities in your area or other resources that would benefit them in their golden years, this will give you a jump start on preparing for when the time comes.
It offers an opportunity to practice building new skills
Our kids learn by watching us model behavior through everyday interactions. If you can take the time to sit down and have a conversation with your parents, even if it’s just about the weather, you’re showing them that you love and care for them. This modeling will also give your children the opportunity to see how to treat their parents as they age.
They may not be around much longer
Unfortunately, we all lose our loved ones at some point in life. It is hard enough to deal with this reality when it is sudden and unexpected. However, spending time with our aging parents while still alive makes the grieving process more straightforward when the time comes. We have already “said goodbye” in a sense and know that we have shared some beautiful times.
Spending time with your aging parents can be a wonderful experience, full of memories and laughs. It is a chance for you to get to know them better and prepare yourself for their future needs. And who knows, you might learn something new about them in the process! So go ahead and make some time this year to visit them, even if it’s just for a cup of coffee or tea. You won’t regret it.