The Parent Compromise: Their Independence And Your Reassurance
As your parents age, they want to keep their independence, stay at home, and grow old in the relative peace and comfort of familiar surroundings. Your thoughts might be slightly at odds with theirs, preferring sheltered accommodation or visitors every hour of the day to ensure they’re healthy, happy, and safe. So where is the compromise? How can they stay happy and comfortable in their own home, while you get the reassurance that they’re safe, healthy, and eating properly?
Ask them to check in with you
A phone call (or text message, if they’re really pushing the stereotype out of the window) once every day or so can do wonders for setting your mind at ease, especially if they live a fair distance from you. Not being able to pop in and check up on them can be tricky, but if you know they’ll contact you regularly to demonstrate that they’re fine, it can really help to put your mind at ease. Maintaining open and reciprocal lines of communication can help to reassure them that you’re only at the other end of the phone, if anything comes about which is worrying them. That way, when you both know you’re both available, you know they’ll get in touch when they need you. This might be a conversation you have to have explicitly in order to get your point across, so be prepared to swallow your pride and get a little bit emotional, and tell them just how much you worry.
Make the most of modern technology
Technology is a beautiful thing, and it’s come along way in helping older adults live safely and comfortably in their own home, maintaining a greater degree of independence. Trip alarms and emergency alarms are a perfect example. Many older adults fear falling at home in case they aren’t able to call for help. Emergency alarms can be programmed to contact you, emergency services, or a nurse to give them urgent care. The best medical alert systems without a monthly fee, could really put your mind at ease, and they don’t have to cost the earth. You could also invest in a video doorbell so your parents can see who’s at the door, without even opening it. As older adults are often the target of scams and burglaries, this can really help to put both your mind and theirs at ease. Stair lifts, bath hoists, and all manner of other equipment exists to help older adults live independently, so be sure to have a look.
Get to know the neighbors
If you don’t live next door to your parents, you’re going to want to know who does. This is partly to put your mind at ease that they’re not surrounded by dodgy scam artists, but they’re also great people to have on side. They can pop in and check on your parents, pick them up a carton of milk from the shop, and generally be a first response team when they’re needed, and many people are happy to help. So next time you’re over, be sure to pop round to say hello.
Your parents will want their independence, but you want reassurance that they’re fine. Communication is key, but it doesn’t help to have a few magical bits of technology installed to give you a helping hand.