6 Tips To Guarantee Your Aging Parents a Healthy (and Happy!) Retirement

mother and daughter

One in 10 people in the US who have their own family and children are also caring for their older parents. While we all tend to think about retirement as the “golden years” to enjoy in a balanced financial situation, in our home, and surrounded by our loved ones, this isn’t always the case. 

Luckily, there is a lot you can do to ensure that your aging parents can make the most of their upcoming years. In the sections below, you can find some useful tips to introduce today and enhance the quality of life of your older parents. After all, this is the time to give back to them!

Create a More Accessible Home

Loss of mobility is a natural condition that happens as a result of aging and affects 35% of people older than 70 and most people over 85 years. As we age, it is normal to experience a loss of strength and balance. And, of course, diseases that are common in older people – such as arthritis – can reduce mobility even more. 

In turn, a loss of mobility can have many physical and psychological consequences, especially if your aging parent is now struggling to move freely in their own house. You can ensure they regain their freedom of movement by adapting their living spaces to their needs. For example, you might consider installing a lift, swapping the shower for a walk-in bathtub, and adding rails. 

Provide With the Health Support They Need

Aging is a condition that affects everyone, and its consequences are to be expected. However, over the past years, life expectancy standards have increased, also thanks to the better quality of life, improvements in healthcare, and advancements in technology. 

Since, today, life-improving devices are available, you should not think twice about using them to enhance the quality of life of your aging parents. For example, you could start by learning more about the benefits of hearing aids, walking aids, prescription glasses, and memory and communication aids. You can also increase their level of safety by using GPS and personal alarm devices. 

Discuss Living Arrangements With Them

While you might be tempted to make a decision for your aging parents, keeping the conversation open with your aging parents is a great way to safeguard their happiness. After all, this is their retirement, and it is only fair for them to be involved in the decision. 

If you have been considering opting for the services of assisted living facilities or nursing homes – and you truly believe that this is the best solution for them – present your idea to your parents. However, make sure you are doing so while keeping a compassionate tone and open mind! 

After all, they might not be of your same opinion and ask for their current home to be changed – so they can live near you and the rest of their family. 

Ensure They Can Spend Plenty of Time Outdoors and in Nature

Spending time outdoors and in nature is essential for everyone’s health – especially for older adults. When outdoors, the healing power of nature can help us feel less stressed, isolated, bored, or anxious. In the case of older people, having the opportunity of spending time outdoors is essential to break the routine and remain active. 

Whether your aging parent is now living with you, moved to assisted living facilities, or is still enjoying the comfort of their own home, ensure that they can spend at least 120 minutes outdoors a week.

Encourage Them To Find Purpose

One of the main issues aging people go through is a loss of purpose as they age. Indeed, going from their working life, daily responsibilities, and caring for others to the life of a retiree can be hard on the mind and body. 

However, they also deserve to make the most of their golden years! So, encourage your parents to find new daily activities and purpose for their lives. For example, they could take on a new hobby – such as gardening or swimming – or find purpose in humanitarian goals. For example, you might encourage them to dedicate a few hours a week volunteering for a cause that is close to their heart. 

Make Sure They Are Surrounded by a Loving Community

It is important for aging people to not feel lonely and bored. Whether your parents are still living at home or have moved to a nursing home, ensure they are surrounded by a thriving community of people that can help them make the most of their days. If you have noticed them being often home alone, consider encouraging them to join a club or take on a new hobby – these simple lifestyle choices can help them meet many new people.