Five Ways to Help an Aging Parent

There are many ways you can help the people who took care of you when you were younger.

Have you been watching your mom and dad age and wondering what you can do? As parents get older, the traditional parent-child relationship often changes. The people who have spent so many years caring for you now need your assistance. Here are a few ways in which you can help.

1. Stay connected. Research has linked close connections to family and friends with living healthier and longer. According to a University of California, San Francisco study, loneliness increases the chance of someone older than 60 suffering from declining health and early death. And remember, frequent phone calls and visits when possible can make for a close relationship even across many miles.

2. Encourage independence. By continuing to cook healthy meals, exercise regularly, socialize and learn new things, your parent will foster healthy aging. To encourage this kind of independence, send your parent suitable recipes, provide information about a local walking group, find an opportunity for your mom or dad to mentor young people or introduce them to other seniors you know.

3. Offer assistance. Depending on your parents’ needs, you might offer to drive them places, run their errands, give them financial guidance or accompany them to medical appointments.

4. Take preventative measures. Guard against falls and other age-related accidents and scams that target the elderly. Again depending on their needs, arrange to have a neighbor check in on your parents, install grab bars in the shower and handrails near stairs, and talk with your parents about helping to review their mail and phone solicitations.

5. Know how to spot the signs of a potential problem. Know the risk factors and keep an eye out for any symptoms of common age-related diseases, such as osteoarthritis and Alzheimer’s.

Plaza Medical Center provides care for the special needs of seniors in our community. Learn more about the Plaza Senior Health Clinic online or call us at (817) 259-4333. If you would like to request a physician referral, please call 1-855-80PLAZA.

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