How to stay close to your aging parents

October 13, 2015

As your parents get older, you may find that more and more things get in the way of your relationship with them. Distance, work, kids, and busy lives can all interfere with our ability to stay close to our ageing parents. While life seems to get in the way, there are a number of creative ways you can continue to keep your ageing parents close through the years.

How to stay close to your aging parents

1. Family meetings

  • Hosting family meetings is one of the most effective ways to stay close to your parents and spend time together as a family.
  • Meeting in person is the best option, but if you're too far away to make the trip frequently, you can schedule phone chats or video calls to feel like you are all in the same place at the same time.
  • You can also ask neighbours and family members who are closer to them to drop in and check on them on a regular basis.

2. Letters and photos

  • Sending your parents mail is a great way of keeping in touch.
  • It doesn't have to be a lengthy letter, just a note to let them know you are thinking of them.
  • You can type it on a computer so you can insert photos of yourself and your family to help them feel more connected to your life.
  • Sometimes seniors don't like talking on the phone, so this can be a great compromise.

3. Ask questions

  • Your parents might not want to bother you with the things going on in their daily lives, but in order to stay close, it's important for you to be aware of anything that may be worrying them.
  • Ask them how they are feeling, how they are sleeping, if they have any aches and pains or, if appropriate, if they are in need of any money.
  • Even if you can't help them directly, there are plenty of resources available to help seniors in need.

4. Listen

  • You may spend a lot of time with your parents, but if you're not really taking the time to sit with them and listen, then you might not be making the most of your time together.
  • As people grow older, they can sometimes feel like they have lost touch with the world or are becoming irrelevant to the people around them.
  • When you really listen to your parents, it makes them feel important to you and valued.
  • Listening is one of the best ways you can show someone that you care.
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