The bond between a child and their parents is special and you should nurture a loving relationship where you can. That said, life can test even the strongest family relationships and it is natural to have disagreements and fallouts on occasion. You may find it difficult to maintain a close relationship with your parents as you get older, especially if you live further away or have work and other demands on your time. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to rebuild your relationship and grow closer to your parents. Here are some suggestions to help you develop a stronger relationship with your parents.
Spend quality time together
Finding the time to visit your parents can be a challenge when you are trying to balance a busy work schedule with a social life, family commitments, and other demands. However, you should make spending time with your parents a priority and make an effort to see them as much as you can. Do not always wait for your parents to get in touch first and organize catchups. Show that you enjoy spending time with them by reaching out and arranging a family meal or day out.
If you are lucky enough to live close to your parents, then try to see them regularly by inviting them round for dinner or doing activities together at the weekend. Spending quality time together will strengthen your relationship and help you maintain a close bond with your parents. If you live in a different city or state and cannot meet up as often, then make an effort to stay connected via communication apps. You can use apps like Whatsapp, Facebook, and Skype to message each other and videocall. This will help you remain an active part of each other’s lives and maintain a close bond with your parents even if you are separated by distance. Take a look at this article for some of the best apps to help families stay connected.
Find common interests and hobbies
Finding common interests and hobbies will make it easier to spend quality time with your parents. Sharing new experiences is also an excellent way to strengthen family bonds and grow closer. You could try cooking new recipes together, get involved in a local community project or start a family crafts project. If your parents are older, then doing activities together can help keep them fit and encourage them to lead a more active lifestyle. According to Abbott, “some of the best activities to do with aging parents include walking, dancing, and bowling.” Find something that you and your parents enjoy and start doing activities together in your free time to build a strong relationship.
Appreciate what your parents have done
Your parents are likely to have done a lot for you over the years. Think about all of the times that they gave you lifts, paid for things, and supported your dreams and aspirations. You should remember all of the caring things that your parents have done over the years and appreciate their love and support. Never take your parents for granted and show them that you appreciate everything that they have done for you. You can do this by buying them a gift, writing them a thank you card, or simply doing something nice for them like cooking them a lovely meal.
Support your parents as they get older
As your parents get older, there is likely to be a shift in your relationship. Your aging parents will become more reliant on you and they may start to need help with their daily activities. Supporting your parents as they get older can be challenging and they may find it difficult to accept your help, especially if they like to be independent. Make sure that you approach the topic of senior care sensitively and discuss how you can help.
Taking care of your parents as they get older will strengthen your bond and show your love and support. There are dozens of ways to help aging parents. If you live nearby, then you could offer to visit once or twice a week to help with household chores or drop off homemade meals. You could also discuss the benefits of moving to a senior living community. Frontier Management explains how senior living options should be considered when daily activities become strenuous, home care is not an option, or a senior wants more social interaction. Moving your parents to a senior living community will ensure that they receive the care and support that they need as they get older. You also have the option to move your parents to a location closer to you so that you can visit more often and spend quality time together.
Travel with your parents
Traveling with your parents might not be top of your vacation list, especially if you have different interests. However, going on vacation together can be a fantastic way to share new experiences and build a stronger relationship. According to the travel blog, Intrepid Travel, traveling with your parents is a special experience that can bring your closer. If you are planning on booking a vacation with your parents, then make sure that you pick a suitable destination with activities that everyone will enjoy. Avoid travel stress by booking things like accommodation and transfers in advance but leave your itinerary free to allow for spontaneity. If you are not confident about booking a two-week trip somewhere with your parents straight away, then try going on a short weekend break first.
Issues between children and parents are common and it is normal to have rough patches in your relationship. If you are searching for ways to strengthen your relationship with your parents, then you are not alone. Many people would like to enjoy a closer bond with their parents. The good news is, there are lots of different ways to improve your relationship and build a closer bond. Spend quality time with your parents and make family a priority in your schedule. Remember that it is never too late to rebuild your relationship with your parents and show them that you care.
While wisdom certainly comes with age, so does the deterioration of our physical and cognitive abilities. This aging process can therefore leave many elderly individuals vulnerable to falls, accidents and injuries, even in their own home. To ensure that you or your loved ones are safe as you enter your twilight years, below are 10 ways to senior-proof the home and make it a safer place to live.
Falls Among Seniors
One of the major concerns for seniors are slips and falls in the home. Even if you or your loved ones are healthy, falls can be common as eyesight, coordination, and physical strength begin to degrade. Falls also pose a danger to an elderly person’s health as they can lead to hip or pelvic fractures. Even more worrying is the potential for fatal falls, such as if a person hits their head.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, one out of four American seniors fall each year, resulting in more than 32,000 deaths and over 700,000 hospitalizations annually. Some other facts include:
1. Remove Trip Hazard Objects or Furnishings
While they may not be noticeable on an everyday basis, small objects or furnishings such as everyday clutter, pet bowls, bags, electrical cords and small décor can be prime instigators of falls. Before you set about senior-proofing the home, make sure these smaller items are removed permanently or put into locations that are out of harm’s way.
2. Upgrade Your Bathroom(s)
Bathrooms are one of the main areas for falls, even for those who are young. To ensure that the home is senior proof, you will need to upgrade the bathroom to accommodate areas that may be high risk. This includes adding a shower seat, installing grab bars, ensuring there are non-slip bathmats and shower mats, installing a raised toilet seat, and checking that the height of the bath is low enough for the elderly person who is using it.
3. Install Railings
Stairs can become difficult to climb as a person gets older. Therefore, if the home has a lot of stairs, it is important to ensure there are adequate railings installed. This includes even slightly raised areas that might only have 1 or 2 stairs. When installing your railing, make sure they are also at the right height so that the person using them is not having to reach too high or low.
4. Add Grab Bars
Grab bars are essential in areas of the home where seniors may need support or assistance standing up from seated positions. This includes the toilet, shower, bath, or even in the bedroom if they need something to hold onto while getting dressed or in and out of bed.
5. Create Clear Walking Areas
Seniors require extra room when making their way down hallways and through other areas of the house. Along with getting rid of clutter, ensure that the home is set up so that they have clear walkways to primary areas like the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom. This might require moving furniture around or removing furnishings to ensure that there is as much room as possible.
6. Cover Sharp Edges or Corners
Another danger associated with falling in the home are sharp edges or corners. Places like coffee tables, desks, or even corners on kitchen islands can be a hazard, so it is sensible to cover these with specially designed padding. Covering edges or corners are especially important if the elderly individual is already prone to falls and has restricted mobility.
7. Ensure the Home is Fire Safe
As we get older, it can be easy to forget to check that the house is fire safe. Be sure to update old fire alarms or replace batteries and ensure that there is a fire extinguisher on hand where needed. It is also important to check that there are no fire hazards in the house such as frayed wiring, overloaded sockets, crowded fireplaces, or even an accumulation of dust near electrical appliances.
8. Update Slippery Floors or Rugs
Ensuring that the floors are slip-proof is another important way to prevent falls. This includes getting rid of rugs that can slide under foot and replacing tiles or vinyl with carpet or slip-proof flooring. This may also require adding rubber mats to areas where you cannot replace the materials, such as in shower areas or bathrooms.
9. Add Smart Technology
Advances in smart technology allow the homeowner to manage things like lighting, temperature control, and turning appliances off and on without getting up. Many systems such as Alexa can turn on virtually any appliance in the house and regulate the heat and air conditioning. This is great news for seniors: rather than having to get up and turn the coffee machine on, for example, smart technology will allow them to use voice commands or an app on their phone. While incorporating smart technology can be a challenge at first, there are ways to do this gradually.
10. Ensure the House is Well Lit
Slips and falls can sometimes occur if a room is not well lit. Dark areas or poor lighting can make it difficult to see, so make sure that all walking areas are well lit. This is where smart technology can also help as it will allow the resident to adjust the lighting without physically walking to the light switch. If you are using basic bulbs in lamps and overhead lights, make sure you are also using the highest wattage possible. You may even want to invest in floor lighting or night lights.
Falls, slips, or accidents are never 100% avoidable, but the tips above can significantly reduce their occurrence. The key is to be accident-minded when evaluating any changes that need to be made in the home. By ensuring that falls are minimized, and that the home of your elderly loved one is relatively safe, it will give you more peace of mind.