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By 2050, 2 out of every 10 people will be a senior citizen. While that date may seem a ways off, as we move towards it, the odds of you having an elderly person in your life go up substantially.
If your mom, dad or both are moving through the twilight phase of their life, personal contact and building connections is more important to them than ever. Unfortunately, it can be hard to form a strong bond with your aging parents given all of the other things that are competing for your attention.
While being a good companion to your parent might seem like an imposition on your time, making simple adjustments to your day can have a big impact.
Here are some quick, relationship-strengthening tips:
1. Make Touching Base a Daily Ritual
In a perfect world, you could visit your aging parents every day. Since most people's worlds are far from perfect, making an effort to simply touch base with your parent on a daily basis can be a good compromise.
Touching base might mean a quick phone call to check-in. It could even be something as simple as a text message to let your parents know that you love them
2. Invite Your Parents out
Just because your parents are old doesn't mean that they should be confined to their houses. If your visits with your parents consist of you sitting on their sofa and chatting for an hour or so, break things up by inviting them out.
Trips to the grocery store to a stylist or more grandiose outings to places like the beach can improve the quality of your parent's life and bring you both closer together.
3. Help Your Parents Find a Constant Care Solution
It can be hard to get close to your parents when you're forced into the role of being their primary caretaker. To ensure that your relationship with your mom and/or dad doesn't feel like an obligation, help them explore resources like this website to find excellent long-term care solutions.
With necessary supports in place, your relationship can be built on a healthier foundation than dependency
4. Let Your Parents Help With Your Kids
We don't recommend making your aging parents babysit your toddlers. If you have kids that are mostly capable of taking care of themselves though, have them spend the day with grandma and grandpa.
Most grandparents will relish the opportunity to feel close to your family through your children.
5. Be Open With Your Parents
You and your parents are at an age where you can be open and honest with one another. Rather than keeping boundaries up and sugar coating your life, clue your parents into what's going on and seek their advice.
Your parents will appreciate that you value their perspective.
Aging Parents Often Make Outstanding Companions
The last thing that aging parents want is to be treated like old people that have nothing to offer the world. So, rather than babying your parent, treat them like you would a best friend and help give their life meaning by making them feel like a valued member of your family.
They'll get a ton out of your effort and we're confident that you'll benefit as well!
Dive deeper into a bevy of topics that mean the most to today's dads by checking out additional content on our blog or by exploring our Busy Dad's 90-Day Toolkit.