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Remember the good old childhood days when a hug and a kiss from your mom would fix everything? And the crazy teen years when your mama was the one person that you could count on to have all the answers? Were you the girl whose college and young adult years were filled with calls home to mom for advice, support or just a listening ear? I know that I was. Thank God for mamas!

Now that I’m a grown woman, I’ve started to notice that the tables are turning. Now more often than not, I’m the one being called for advice. And I find myself worrying about my mom’s finances, health, well-being and safety. I’m coming to grips with the fact that my mama, the one that I’ve always relied on, is getting older. Thankfully my mother is still a pretty savvy grandma who’s in good health and lives independently. But I can’t help but think about the coming years when my mother will need more support. Living far away with a family of my own, I wondered how I can make sure that the person who raised me has all that she needs.

Experts recommend several tips for helping aging parents*:

• Acknowledge that your parents are getting older. It’s hard to face the reality that mom or dad are aging. But if you’re in denial, then you can’t help them and you could panic when an emergency situation arises.

• Start creating a plan with your parents. Let them know that you want to help support them as much as possible as they age. Work with your parents to find out what their wishes would be if they could not live independently. And make sure that they give you copies of any important documents that they may need you to help with in the future such as bills, health plans and bank accounts.

• Respect your parents’ independence. Only step in if you see that you absolutely must. Being independent is a part of aging with dignity.

• Help your parents stay healthy. Encourage your parents to take care of themselves as they age. Eating right, staying active and socializing with their friends will help them stay well for as long as possible.

Let’s face it, our parents won’t stay young forever. But with a little forethought and planning, their senior years can be golden, and you can have peace of mind.

Mommynoire readers, how are you coping with your parents aging?

Words By: Yolanda Darville
Source: Elder Care ABC Blog
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