7 Things Your Parents May Be Secretly Struggling With
As we grow old, we realize that there are many things we were capable of doing with ease that are now challenging. The same goes for our parents. Despite this difficulty, many parents are reluctant to ask their children for help. If you suspect your parents are experiencing some difficulties that they’re hiding from you, here are 7 things your parent’s don’t want to admit are difficult for them.
Household chores to daily communication are just some of the most common problem areas in their lives. Understanding these difficulties is no rocket science, but parents often hesitate in outrightly expressing them to their children. Here’s a more detailed insight into where your parents need your help.
1. Cleaning Their Home
Even as an active adult, many of us wish there was a way to get our laundry done, dishes cleaned, walls dusted, and floors without moving a limb. Crazy deadlines and bawling children make it nearly impossible to keep the house spotlessly clean.
Seniors, too, face a similar worry. Their houses may be small and mostly empty, but the carpets still collect dust, the kitchen still needs wiping, and the garden can't really look after itself. However, senior parents usually don't have someone else to do these chores for them. Their children have little time to devote to senior care, and housekeepers can cost quite a lot.
Solution: The number one thing to do is to help your parents de-clutter their house. Clear out old bookshelves, cutlery sets, unwanted furniture, and worn-out clothes. The more you clear away the house, the easier it'll be for your parents to clean it.
Make sure their living space isn't too large to take care of. If there's a basement or attic that needs periodic cleaning, that's okay. Other than that, the house should be small enough for a quick sweep whenever needed.
You can also arrange for a monthly housekeeping visit to deep clean your parent's home.
Your senior parents may have mastered the art of cooking finger-licking delicious food, but the practice tires them out at this stage of life. While maintaining the kitchen is a constant job, the question of what to cook is always lingering around.
This is because first, they do not have enough stamina to bend their back or crane their neck to find dishes or ingredients. Since cooking requires one to stand most of the time, it's pretty demanding for seniors. Moreover, seniors are often intolerant to several spices, veggies, dairy, and meats, making it hard to choose a menu.
Solution: Parents at this age usually aren't picky eaters. This is why batch cooking often helps seniors by avoiding frequent trips to the kitchen.
If you live in the same city, you can also deliver homemade meals to your parent's house.
When it comes to driving, seniors aren't the only ones to feel nervous. However, their nerves are a lot more susceptible to shock, confusion, and even short-term memory loss. Although automobiles are now designed to keep the passengers satisfied, it does little to drive away nausea that seniors may feel when riding their vehicles.
They may have vision issues, trouble with following the GPS and navigating on jammed routes. Driving may also be painful for those who have backbone problems or any other health issue.
Solution: Car hailing apps such as Uber are currently not popular with seniors who don't have anybody to drive them around. However, you can help them get more familiar with the service so they feel at ease while using it. There also plenty of senior-friendly GPS apps that your parents can use when they drive.
4. Getting Dressed
Dressing up in clothes that are easy to wear is another comfort that your parents may crave but say nothing about. An airy top in summers and a hoodie on chilly days shouldn't be beyond anyone's reach, but seniors are a woeful exception.
Arthritis, illnesses, injuries, surgeries, etc., are a constant reminder that your old one is losing independence in daily matters. As much as you feel sympathetic for your parents, they may mistake it for pity and feel humiliated.
Solution: If it's affordable for your family, you may hire a caretaker to help your parents change clothes. Other than this, try to make sure your seniors always have access to warm, clean, and comfortable clothes, so they don't feel like dressing up is a bane of their existence.
5. Baths and Showers
Just like putting on their clothes, regular trips to the restroom also takes a toll on your parent's fragile health and waning patience. They may also be fearful of tripping or slipping inside, with nobody to call for help. Bathing and showering are also difficult because it requires movements to scrub different areas of their body.
Solution: Just like the previous suggestion, a caretaker from within the family or a professional nurse can be pretty helpful when your parents are in the bath. You can also install an emergency bell so that your parents can alert others in case they're in trouble.
6. Remembering Things
Whether it's the grocery list or turning off the stove, or recalling your child's name, your senior parents are vulnerable when it comes to a sharp memory. This has little to do with a careless attitude and instead stems from the brain's inability to function well.
Solution: You can try using family applications, such as Ohana, to remind your parents about their doctor's appointments, pending laundry, and all other important tasks of the day. You can also help them set individual reminders on their phone, so they can continue to live without messing up their routine.
7. Asking for Help
As a parent, they’ll never feel comfortable with ringing you up if there’s any inconvenience. Although they’ve lost much of their bodily and intellectual autonomy, they’ll try not to bother you even if they’re sure you won’t mind.
Solution: Just because your parents shy away from help doesn’t mean you should back off! Try to remain as discreet as possible when helping them with their work. You can pick up their laundry on the way, stay over to cook and serve dinner and continue to do all that a family does without your parents explicitly asking you for help.