Part of adulthood also means coming to terms that your parents are getting on in years. It comes with a lot of big decisions and future planning on your part. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a negative experience that creates a strain between you and your dear parents, though. If you’re in that stage where you have to start thinking about their healthcare, retirement, and living situation, here are some things you can do to help them in this transition period and letting you take on more of the reigns.
Talk to them about how they envision their retirement years
Most of the pushback that comes from the elderly is mostly from a sense of feeling unheard and losing independence. Your parents have been adults longer than you have, so it’s natural for them not to feel keen on relinquishing much autonomy. That especially rings true when you start making choices like choosing senior care and mapping out their financial plans in retirement. These are major milestones for their golden years, so you should make sure to talk to them transparently so that they also have a say in things and that you can come to an agreement.
Assure them that every choice comes from a place of love
Too often, the stress and pressure catch up, and unkind words are said, or strains lead to distance. A simple nod of reassurance and some words of care can help you communicate with your parents that every choice is made with love. If they know that you are also picking what’s best for them, and not merely throwing them aside, many of your discussions can be much more comfortable and even optimistic.
Make sure you are making a decision that is fair for everyone involved
Consider each angle to get to the best outcome. Your parents likely don’t want to be put in a situation that brings them discomfort, but you also don’t want to sacrifice your own plans. That not only puts you both at a disadvantage but also risks the development of some resentments that won’t help anybody. In these situations, communication can do wonders in keeping everyone happy. Communication changes are commonplace in older people, so exerting some patience can help you in the long run.
Maintain a balance with care and boundaries
It’s all about balance. You don’t want to smother your parents, but you also don’t want to abandon them altogether. It could help you to settle a schedule with your parents and keep a list of necessities to attend to, and make sure to stick to that. It’ll give you more room to spend quality time with them that is meaningful and doesn’t feel so strained.
Don’t forego self-care
If you want to take care of your parents’ needs well, you need to take care of yourself, too. If you let the stress build-up, it can lead to a burnout that can affect everybody. Most importantly, you need to remember that you deserve compassion as well. Make sure you have time for yourself, your social wants and needs, and that you’re keeping your mental and physical health up.
If you keep these in mind and put them into practice, you should be able to maintain a happy life both for yourself and your parents as you take on your prime, and they relax in their silver years.