Caring for your elderly parents – how to give back their time and care

Our parents are people we remember as the ones who have done everything for us. Just being pregnant with us is tough on mum, as anyone with children will know. The birth is usually very painful, and then we are born. Mum and Dad then feed us up, dress us, change our dirty nappies when we make a mess, and take pride in teaching us about the world we live in. We play together, laugh together, and cry together.

As we get older, they continue this care, teaching us independence, taking us to school, and making our lives special, spoiling us at Christmas and for our birthdays. They take us on holidays, and give us everything we need to enjoy our early lives. Progressing into teenage years, they tolerate our hormones and mood swings, and guide us through our exams, pushing us just enough to try and encourage us to work hard for our future, and we moan and complain and tell them we hate them for being so bossy. They take it with a smile, and are patient with us. They ferry us from party to party without complaint or thanks, and we just expect it.

For most of our adult lives, they bail us out financially, help us to get our first home or our first car, help us pay for our wedding, and then look after our children when we start a family.

As they get older, the tables begin to turn. Mum and Dad’s health often declines, as does mobility and independence. They become less able to do the things they have always enjoyed, like taking holidays, for fear they will not manage while they are away.

This does not have to be the case! Our parents have done so much for us, what can we do to ever repay them for everything? By visiting regularly, you will notice any changes as soon as they happen. Anxiety or nervousness is often a problem, as they begin to feel less confident, especially if they take a fall, or have a bad experience that exploits their increasing vulnerability. You can help them by reassuring them, or accompanying them out if they become concerned.

Taking a load off for them once in a while is an excellent way to support them. Offer to do their laundry, or make them a meal and take it over. Even doing a little bit of housework just reminds them that you care, and allows them to rest and enjoy their retirement.

If they become unable to leave the house, or prefer not to go out alone, take them shopping, or go out and get it in for them. A bit of fresh air is great for keeping the blues away, so take outings together, or even a holiday if they wish to go. There are plenty of fabulous places in the UK that can give a lovely holiday without the worry of being too far from home.

Keeping their independence will be a big issue for your elderly parents so try and help them find ways around doing the things they struggle with. There are many care home products, mobility aids, and household items that can be purchased to manage simple problems. For example, if they have trouble getting the lid off the lemonade, a bottle cap-gripping tool will take the struggle away. If bending or stretching is a problem, a stick with a grabbing mechanism might help them to reach things that are just that bit out of reach.

Our parents have loved and nurtured us since birth, and it is only right that we should do the same in order for them to retain their dignity, self-respect, and independence.

The Care Shop has produced this blog. Relative Matters does not endorse this or any other provider and merely seeks to make readers aware of the different options available.


~ by Butch on October 13, 2012.

4 Responses to “Caring for your elderly parents – how to give back their time and care”

  1. Wise words and so true. The tables certainly do turn as our parents age and it’s our responsibility to give them the same loving care they provided us when we needed it. The only difference is that we don’t really have to legally. No law says we need to provide for them, while there are many laws concerning the proper care of children.
    This is wrong. There should be laws that state that we must make sure that those who brought us into this world and sustained us get the required care. There are probably more elderly parents out there than anyone cares to admit who are alone and without support.
    Bravo for posting this. Hope it hits home where needed.


  2. […] Caring for your elderly parents – how to give back their time and care. Share this:MoreLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  3. I want my daddy to be my daddy. He is a lot of times. However I find him holding on to “Stuff”. Stuff like 7 year old nicotine gum that my now deceased mother never chewed. Had a semi-fight with him about throwing it out. Like we’re opening an expired health goods store tomorrow. I know he’s just trying to hold on to his control in the house but, man, it’s difficult to take. Can’t through out 30 year old golf shirts with stains and holes. We have a large house, but running out of storage. How do I get hm, at age 91, to let go? Should I just get rid of stuff he doesn’t even know exists or just grin and sigh? This seems petty and it’s just an example of the day to day frustration that I (as a senior in my own right) deals with on a daily basis. To be fair to him, he thanks me regularly for all I do for him. I appreciate that. I do. He wants me to exert control when it comes to cooking, running errands, wahsing, etc., but then still wants to be in charge when he wants to be. How to balance the twol

  4. Some great ideas here to help out your family. I do this mostly everyday though when I have to go to work I leave them with caregivers uk I get a good response of what they do.

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