As your parents grow older, their ideal way of life is enjoying every minute with their children and grandchildren, going on vacations to visit families from state to state, and reconnecting with relatives. However, the reality for some seniors is that this way of life becomes impossible due to health conditions and lack of physical vigor while the children pass on responsibilities from one to the other. They may not say it, but this will make your parents feel neglected.
Truly, all parents’ want is to enjoy time with their families and get everyone connected before everything gets too busy. Here are 7 ways families can stay connected when caring for seniors.
1. Family meetings
Whether your parents live in their own home or in a senior living community, take time and hold a schedule for family meetings, especially if you have brothers and sisters. Be adamant about attendance because eventually, these family meetings will weave into everyone’s schedule and will become a regular family gathering, instead of being looked at as an appointment. Hold regular family gatherings and make it interesting with the children and grandchildren. Sometimes, it takes much effort to connect families again, but when they do, they will realize the family is indeed an important part of their lives.
2. Organizing their medication
One way to stay connected with your grandparents or parents is to manage and organize their medication. It may seem like a simple task and your seniors may even tell you to stop, they can do it themselves. However, your effort in handling their medication can be a way to regularly connect with them. This is also to monitor their medication and health status, if there are changes in their medicine and dosage.
3. Video chats and webcams
Other family members may be away in different countries or states, and this is an unavoidable circumstance due to work or extended-family related issues. Don’t let these scenarios drift you apart from your elders. The good thing about long distance relationships nowadays is you have technology on your side to keep you connected. Hook your seniors up with video chats and webcam, and be sure to call them regularly to stay connected.
4. Be careful with medicines
Medicines and maintenance are a staple for most elders. It’s inevitable. As they become older, the body shows more signs of aging that need to be tended to with medication. However, there are some products sold in the market that claim to bring excellent results that may even completely eradicate common conditions among seniors such as hypertension, diabetes and such. Some of these products have not gone through FDA approval and may do more harm than good. Check and monitor your parents’ medications and medicine intake to ensure that they only follow what is prescribed to them by their physician.
5. Ensure health and safety of the elders
Their health and safety become a priority particularly since their bodies become weaker as they grow older and they may not be able to tend to themselves well. One important factor to ensure their health and safety is the neighborhood that they live in. You can look for options in Alzheimer’s care facilities for seniors, senior assisted living homes and facilities so your parents can have a comfortable living and mingle with other seniors, too.
6. Stay away from scams
There are plenty of scams out there that mostly target the elders, who are vulnerable in terms of technology which is a common tool used by scam artists nowadays. Be sure to educate your seniors on how to identify and avoid these scams which can appear in the form of a phone call, an email, or door-to-door services. This is also to ensure their safety in their homes. One option you can do is to manage their accounts so you can monitor the business and transactions they do.
7. Help the elders get socially connected
The internet is the fastest and easiest way to stay socially connected these days. In addition to that, they can also be updated with current events and news through social media browsing. Hook your seniors up to social media and teach them how to wisely use this platform to connect with family and friends from all over the world.
Don’t let distance, busy jobs and lives pull you apart from your family. Connect with your parents and encourage your siblings to do the same. The family should and will always be the most important part of our lives. It is important for our well-being to stay connected with them, especially to our mothers and fathers.
This post was written by Holly Klamer. She loves to write on issues related to seniors, aging, and retirement and is a frequent contributor to many blogs and online publications