Everyone’s needs change as we age. And not everyone’s needs are the same. Nevertheless, there are some needs that seem fairly universal across different families.

Connection

Ageing parents still want to feel connected to their families. If your connections are not the best, then see if you can try again or mend some fences. Parents would like to feel some connection to brothers, sisters, children, and grandchildren if there are any.

COVID-19 has made seeing people difficult for a long time. However, some of these rules are loosening. Where possible to try to see your ageing parents on a regular basis, either at their residence or yours. And if you can’t see them, then at least call them or have a video conference.

Encouragement

When seniors have lost a spouse or partner, they may feel lonely. Words of encouragement are welcome. Let them know that grief is a process, and it will improve with time. Encourage them to spend time with others including you. Their senior years can be filled with activities and fun. Encourage them to seek out activities and hobbies which will also likely increase their social circle.

Give Them Credit

While many of us are silently assessing our parents’ conditions when we see them, keep that to yourself. No ageing parent wants to feel like they are being examined under a microscope when he or she has the opportunity to be with family. Hope for the best and assume your senior parent is doing fine. Listen to them. Hear what they have to say. Even if you are a medical professional, don’t look for things that are not there. Your ageing parents want your support not criticism.

As COVID restrictions lift, we hope that you will come and visit your parents as much as possible. That, alone, is worth its weight in gold.

The Hamlets at Red Deer, located in Red Deer, Alberta, is at the forefront in the provision of services for those suffering from dementia in an assisted-living environment. The Hamlets at Red Deer has values based on tenets of Christianity and is committed to helping residents attain the highest physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about our Red Deer community, please call us at (403) 986-1250.

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