Redefining Independence For Aging Parents

Ageing parents may fear they are losing their independence as their health deteriorates, fearful that they won’t be able to perform daily tasks or keep up their home. If their health issues make living activities challenging for them, you can help ease those worries by speaking openly with them about this topic.

Your willingness to assist them when needed, even if they do not ask, should also be unwavering. Overburdening an elderly relative with too much information in one conversation may trigger their fear of losing control, and may not be as beneficial as having several discussions over time.

Help your aging parents remain both physically and socially active by joining local senior groups that offer social opportunities, or taking day trips to local sights or events. Your loved one may initially hesitate, so encourage them by accompanying them for the initial few trips; once they feel more at ease with attending independently.

Assist your elderly parent in developing a budget with their financial advisor to ensure they remain financially secure, including setting aside money for medical emergencies, car repairs and home maintenance expenses. Discuss with them whether they want an advance directive and who they would like as their power of attorney; the American Aging Association offers a helpful online seminar as well as forms to download to aid this conversation.