August 24, 2022

4 Ways Adult Children Can Help Their Aging Parents

Author: Spencer Smith

As your parents age, it can be difficult for them to ask for help. They are used to being the caregivers in your relationship, and the power shift can bring some hesitation. But, with the right approach to providing support, you can make their lives a little easier and help them maintain their sense of independence for as long as possible.

The key for adult children is realizing that while there are some ways aging parents will need more support, they are still capable of making their own decisions, living autonomously, and maintaining the highest level of independence.

Below are five ways adult children can navigate the best ways to support their aging parents in a way that enables them to still live meaningful and independent lifestyles.

1. Lead With Respect

Aging adults, no matter what they are dealing with in terms of physical or mental health, deserve the same respect you have always given them as their child. If possible, try to do tasks alongside your parents, instead of for them. Let them take the lead, even if it means things take a little longer. Your parents should dictate how and when they need your help. 

The goal is to ensure your aging parents maintain independence and sharpen skills that can keep them mentally and physically strong for as long as possible. 

2. Create Safety Nets 

Especially if you don’t live nearby, it can sometimes be challenging to offer your aging parents the ongoing support they need. Do your best to set up a support system that keeps them safe but still allows them to be in control of their everyday lives. Whether you invest in a medical alert system, enroll them in senior wellness classes, or help them find an apartment that supports their changing needs, you can provide them the additional safety and security they need without intruding too much. 

3. Maintain Open Communication 

This one can be challenging, especially if your aging parents are stubborn. They might not always be forthcoming about their changing needs. Creating open communication lines can build a healthier relationship for you and your parents and make it easier to approach difficult subjects. 

As an adult caregiver, it’s easy to assume you know what’s best. Try to take your parents’ concerns seriously and advocate for them without taking over. Always ask how you can help solve problems before stepping in so your parents can maintain control and confidence.

4. Stay Optimistic 

Aging isn’t easy. Your parents will be frustrated with the changes they are facing, and it’s in your best interest to stay optimistic, especially when they can’t. Try to shift conversations to the good things in life and help them find ways to find joy in each day. Helping your aging parents maintain a high level of self-esteem can go a long way in improving their mental and physical health. 

Getting older comes with challenges for both you as an adult child and your aging parents. Taking things slowly can help your parents maintain their independence and focus on the good things life has to offer instead of its challenges. Be positive and help your parents find new ways to live meaningful and fulfilling lives in their retirement years. 

About Upside

Upside is proud to take everything you thought you knew about senior living and turn it on its head. Since our inception, we’ve provided active older adults with dynamic living options that offer maintenance-free, active lifestyles in intergenerational communities.

Upside offers dynamic living options all across the United States. We offer one-, two-, and three-bedroom units that let older adults and retirees downsize to their comfort level while staying front and center for all the hustle and bustle of city life.

Learn more about our unique approach to senior living and start living the retirement life you’ve only dreamed of having. Contact us today to speak with an Upside advisor.

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6365 NW 6TH Way, Suite 200

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309