In many cases, we focus so much on our loved one’s physical health, their mental wellbeing is often neglected. If you have aging parents, they may have all sorts of worries and fears about what the future holds. Whether it’s a decline in mobility, going into senior care, or losing cognitive function, it’s your job to help your loved ones to reduce stress and anxiety. With that in mind, here are some simple tips on how to be there for your senior parents.
One of the best things you can do for your senior parents is to listen to what they have to say. If your loved ones feel anxious, it’s your job to listen and provide support in any way you can. There will be some topics that are more delicate than others, such as senior care, so if it’s time to look into other living options, doing what you can to support your parents is key for alleviating stress and anxiety.
Establish a Routine
If your aging parents live independently, they may have become stuck in a rut and not have a solid routine in place. The COVID-19 outbreak will have increased the amount of time your loved ones stay indoors, so if you live nearby and can help out, getting your parents into a routine will help them feel safer and more stable. There are simple but effective measures that can alleviate early-morning anxiety, such as finishing breakfast before switching on the news.
Understand Their Fears
Rather than assuring your parents that everything will be fine, you should encourage them to express any fears they may have. No matter what concerns they have, if you react negatively, this can further increase feelings of anxiety and stress. As we’re currently living in unprecedented times, you need to let your senior loved ones know it’s normal to feel distressed and uneasy.
Encourage Physical Activity
It’s no secret that physical activity has a positive impact on seniors’ physical and mental health. If your aging loved one suffers from anxiety, there are all kinds of exercises that can boost cardiovascular health, improve cognitive function, and reduce stress levels. If your loved one is unable to get outdoors due to the pandemic, they can benefit from online chair yoga that they can perform from the comfort of their own home. For some, physical activity works just as well as medication for reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Check In With Them Regularly
We all lead busy lives, so if you have a packed schedule, you must find time in your day to call in and check how your loved ones are doing. If you’re unable to visit your parents in person, picking up the phone and having a conversation can make all the difference to their day. You may find that any anxiety and worries they have disappear after they’ve spoken to you.
No one likes to see their parents in distress. As your loved ones age, you need to be there as much as you can to provide love, guidance, and support which can help your parents feel happier as they maneuver through their golden years.