Sunday, March 6, 2011

Helping Your Aging Parents Stay Healthy And Happy

We can't stop the natural aging process. Only have to look in the mirror and notice our own stiff limbs in the morning to realize that. If you have aging parents, you'll be wanting to watch for changes in their physical and mental well-being.

As your parents age, you'll become much more proactive. You'll want to talk with their doctors. A good relationship here is so beneficial for everyone. Go with them to their appointments. A good doctor will encourage this for many reasons. Often times, our parents become hard of hearing and don't want to mention it. They will miss important medical information.

Some times they may be confused by all that's going on and miss valuable instruction. If you are there, it's like a double check on the health of your parents. You'll know what they are supposed to be following up on and can make sure everything goes as planned.

I must add how important the pharmacist is as well. Nuture these relationships and the road will be smoother.

Remember too, as your parent's health declines, it is going to affect you emotionally. You are watching your once vibrant, young parent face the pitfall of aging. It's hard to watch the Dad who could throw a fast curve ball now be unsteady on his feet. To see the Mom who could multi-task with the best of them, have trouble dressing in the morning. Try to remember what it must feel like to be in their shoes.

Encourage them to stay socially active. Make sure they stay in touch with family and friends. If they no longer drive, please drive them yourself. This wards off depression. For both the parent and the caregiver.

When my Mom would get to spend the day with friends, the bliss carried over for a long time. And give them privacy. Don't hover. Go do something else. This is their time. Get out of their way. How else can they bitch about their kids? Just kidding...

Encourage them to exercise. Especially walking. I know in the winter it can become a nightmare. Find someplace that has an inside track and get them to the facility if you have to. It also helps with the winter doldrums. And speaking of which, consider one of those SAD lights. I have one for myself and believe me, it does work. Winter can be tough and everything we can do to literally make light of it, the better for everyone.

Love and protect your loved ones while you have them. Trust me, you'll miss them when they are no longer with you...