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How to Provide Emotional Support for Your Aging Parent

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Aging isn’t always easy. Many older adults face challenges such as a decrease in physical and mental health, loss of independence, loss of loved ones, feelings of disengagement, financial insecurity, and fear of the future. If your parent has reached the golden years, one of the best things you can do is provide emotional support to combat these feelings.

Talk and Listen 

The number one way to provide emotional support for your aging parent is to sit down and talk with him or her. This doesn’t mean talking at your parent, stating how he or she should feel, what medications to take, or when the next doctor’s appointment is. Let your parent do most of the talking and express genuine fears, concerns, and questions. Listen, even if he or she becomes angry or upset. Just being a shoulder to lean on from time to time can make a world of difference, and it may also help you discover concerns you weren’t already aware of. 

Regular socialization is essential for maintaining emotional wellbeing. For families living in Omaha, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

Help Your Parent Stay Busy 

If your parent is retired, no longer has a spouse or children around, or doesn’t drive, he or she probably spends a great deal of time at home with nothing to do, which could lead to boredom, depression, and anxiety. If this sounds familiar, you may need to come up with ways to keep your parent busy so he or she can lead a more fulfilling life and keep his or her emotions in check. Encourage activities like gardening, cooking, reading, exercise, or adopting a pet. If issues like transportation prevent your parent from doing these things, offer your time, take turns with siblings, or look into professional transportation services. 

Engaging in activities such as gardening helps older adults lead purposeful lives. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Omaha home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.

Provide a Purpose 

Many seniors feel they are a burden to society. In instances such as this, providing emotional support may be as simple as proving seniors do have worth. If your loved one doesn’t have a sense of purpose, it’s time to help him or her find one. Maybe your loved one can pick up a part-time job, do some volunteer work, watch a grandchild after school a few days a week, or help you with a big project. Whatever it is, help your loved one find something that provides a sense of accomplishment. 

Offer Security

If your parent’s emotional needs are based on fears, address them the best way you can. If the fears are related to health, schedule a doctor’s appointment. Fears of falling or developing mobility issues can be alleviated by making the home easier to navigate with items like handrails or investing in a walker or cane. If it’s financial security causing the fear, help your loved one create a budget, or look into groups that provide assistance for seniors. No one wants to live in fear of things that can often be controlled or prevented. 

Encourage Communication

Staying in touch with family, friends, neighbors, and other acquaintances is also an important part of emotional wellbeing. Whether it’s because your loved one doesn’t know how to use new technology or because many of the people from his or her past have moved or passed away, he or she may become lonely and isolated. If this is the case, it’s important to take steps to encourage social interactions, which may be as simple as having grandchildren or nieces and nephews calling and checking in once a week or scheduling the occasional lunch date with old friends. Teach your parent how to use social media so he or she can keep up with friends around the world and maybe even make new ones. You may also find your community offers social groups aimed specifically at seniors. If your loved one is religious, his or her place of worship may also have social groups and activities.

A senior’s emotional wellbeing is just as crucial as his or her mental and physical health. In Omaha, elderly care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. To create a customized in-home care plan for your elderly loved one, call us at (402) 261-5158.