Are your parents elderly and living in a seniors’ residence or thinking of moving to such a residence? Did your parents support you during your youth? Well, now that they are old, it is your turn to support them.
Of course, you probably have a busy schedule. Family, work and daily activities may leave you with little time to visit your parents. However, it is important to find the time to visit them.
Break social isolation by regularly visiting your parents or seniors you know
Seniors enjoy visits. This activity is important for your parents. In addition to hearing from you and their grandchildren, these meetings allow them to socialize and thus break the isolation.
Several studies published in the Journal of Health and Social Behaviour show that social isolation is often associated with cognitive decline and poorer health. In the end, when you visit your parents regularly, you will have a positive impact on their mood and contribute much to their happiness.
Meetings between grandchildren and grandparents help foster intergenerational relationships
According to Erik Erikson, a psychoanalyst and developmental psychologist, maintaining and developing relationships with a younger generation can help seniors feel more fulfilled. In fact, connecting older adults to youth can be of benefit to both groups.
For example, seniors tend to guide and impart knowledge to young people. These meetings can also help young people understand and accept ageing. For their part, seniors will be stimulated by these visits. They help them maintain an active social life.
Visiting your elderly parents will allow you to assess their health and state of mind
Visits to your parents are opportunities to evaluate how they are doing. Do your parents have health problems? Is their moral good? If your parents are over 75; are their cognitive and physical abilities still good? Does one of your parents have a loss of autonomy?
If you notice a change in your parents’ lifestyle or if the family home is out of order and the refrigerator contains stale food, it could be clues that your parents need help.
If so, you may need to discuss with your parents about living in a seniors’ residence. When you visit your parents, you can also assess whether they need home support or home care. Home support and home care may help your parents pursue their lives at home.
Does one of your parents have Alzheimer’s or dementia? Well, then, continue your visits!
A recent survey indicates that 42% of people surveyed think it’s pointless to stay in touch when a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease is unable to recognize the faces of family members or friends.
However, researchers and specialists think the opposite. Even as the disease progresses, people with advanced dementia may retain emotional memories, which means that these people feel a sense of happiness even after a visit.
If you have difficulty or do not know how to approach someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, the Alzheimer Society of Canada has developed a short guide to help you. You will find it here.
Enjoy a visit to an elderly person to help them with technology and access to information via the Web
The world we live in is a rupture with the benchmarks and ways of doing in the past. Your parents and seniors may have difficulty using certain technologies such as the smartphone, tablet, home alarm system; ditto with electronic health monitoring devices such as a blood glucose meter or electronic blood pressure monitor.
These objects and technologies that we use daily, and often intuitively, can sometimes be difficult to learn for a senior. During your visits, make sure that your parents are using their new electronic device correctly, especially if it is a device that is important for their health.
By the way, if your parents live far away and they love technology; do not hesitate to offer them calls using video conferencing applications like FaceTime, Skype or Messenger. You will be able to share with them precious moments such as family gatherings, on the beach or a party that you organize at home.
When visiting a senior, talk about family memories
When you visit your parents, do not forget to mention family memories, trips you made with them during your youth and meetings and family celebrations.
Photo albums, conversations, family videos and music can bring happy memories to your parents. Obviously, you can use the same techniques with people with dementia and memory loss. It will certainly bring memories and happy moments to your loved ones and to yourself.
Visavie offers a range of services for people 65 years of age and older, ranging from finding a retirement home with a retirement home counsellor up to home support and home care services. For 30 years, we have assisted more than 150,000 families in Quebec; so, do not hesitate to contact the home retirement counsellors and professional caregivers of Visavie.