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Caring for Your Aging Parents: The Importance of Understanding Your Parents

a woman caring for her aging prentsAs you grow older, your relationship with your parents gradually shifts. Whereas once they cared for you from infancy to adolescence, now you find yourself caring for your aging parents. As age-related memory loss sets in, you may have to start considering senior care such as assisted living. One of the best ways you can make sure you are providing quality senior care to your parents that are also in accordance with their wishes is to take the time now to get to know them. Below are some of the benefits of getting to know your aging parents better as well as tips to help you better understand them.

Benefits of Getting to Know Your Aging Parents Better

Since you have known your parents for your entire life, you may assume that you know all there is to know about them. You know what foods they like, their favorite TV shows, and even their political views. However, some fail to consider their parents’ lives before they were born. Learning more about your parents’ lives before you were born and when you are not around can have some valuable repercussions for you and your family, especially as you are caring for your aging parents. Some concrete benefits of taking the time to get to know your parents as they age include:

  • Taking Advantage of the Time:
    As your parents start to suffer from age-related memory loss, you have only a precious amount of time to learn about family traditions, legends, recipes, and experiences. Getting to know these things about your parents helps you take advantage of the time you have with them and also allows you to be able to pass what you have learned to your own children.
  • Improving Their Caregiving:
    As your caregiving responsibilities increase, the time may come that you have to reach out for support such as an in-home caregiver or an assisted living facility. When you take the time to get to know your parents, you can pass that on to other individuals responsible for their care, improving their caregiving.
  • Memory Care:
    Much of memory care involves keeping the mind active with mentally stimulating tasks. By learning more about your parents’ interests throughout their lives, you can incorporate activities that you know will interest them and keep their attention.

Tips to Better Understand Your Aging Parents

The best way to get to know your parents better in a meaningful way is to set aside time with them and talk to them. Start with a list of open-ended questions (i.e. “Who was your childhood best friend?”) to get the conversations started. You may be surprised by what comes up.

In short, making the effort to get to know your parents better now while you are still early on in your role of caring for your aging parents can benefit you and for family for sentimental reasons (you can pass on cherished memories and traditions) as well as pragmatic (you can better understand their interests, preferences, and needs as they become more dependent). You can start by setting aside time with just your parents so that you can ask them about their lives, particularly before you were born.

Contact Us at Watermark of Gulf Breeze Today

As you take on more of a role caring for your aging parents, you may find that you have questions about senior health or need extra assistance. The highly qualified staff at Watermark of Gulf Breeze are prepared to answer any questions you may have about senior care, assisted living, and memory care. Contact us today and schedule a free tour of our vibrant, beautiful community.