Dealing With Aging Parents: How to Improve Communication

Dealing With Aging Parents: How to Improve Communication

Are you currently dealing with aging parents? The topic of aging can be a complicated and emotional subject, so it's important to educate yourself. 

People are living longer than ever, so it's crucial that you have a plan and communicate with your aging parents.

In fact, according to the Social Security Administration, people are living well into their late 80's. 

Because no one wants to get older, aging is a difficult topic to bring up with your parents. We get it -- the thought of losing precious family members is difficult to bear, but it's still important to keep the lines of communication open. 


Here are a few tips to help yourself or anyone else who is dealing with aging parents: 


Be patient 

Everyone handles aging parents with a variety of different emotions. However, as your parent's health declines, they likely won't be the same people you remember them to be. 

During this time, it's crucial that you don't get frustrated and remain supportive at all times. This is especially true if they're struggling with health issues (such as memory or hearing loss.) The same thing goes if they're headstrong and don't want to ask for help.

Parents may be in denial that they're getting older. This is when it's important to sit down and have an open conversation. Remind them that getting older is natural and you're there to help them every step of the way. 


Have a plan


Once your parents start to age, they'll likely need more help with everyday activities than they did when they were young. 

Will they be living with you, your sibling or another family member? Will you look at independent living arrangements? These are all things to consider when you have an aging relative. 

It's also critical that you keep the lines of communication open and consider what your parents want to do. No one wants to be forced into any situation, even if they're older and may not be able to fully make decisions on their own. 


Make time for them 

As parents age, it's easy to lose the connection you may have had with them when you were young. 

Or maybe it's difficult to see your parents aging, so you naturally spend less time around them. Although it might be easy to push your parents away, this is the time when they need you the most. 

One of the best things you can do when dealing with aging parents is to go out of your way to spend time with them, and never let them feel forgotten.

Take time to sit and talk with them and discuss what they're going through. Set time aside to do an activity that they enjoy together. Remember: communication is always key. 

More resources for dealing with aging parents 

Helping elderly parents isn't easy, but you don't have to do it alone. The Independent Living Center is here to be a valuable resource. 

Read more about our services and how we can help your aging parents or feel free to contact us for a more personalized opinion on how ILC can best serve you.