Aging is bound to happen and can be challenging to process. Grandparents may find the transition into depending on others again hard to deal with. We have to enter a phase of our lives when we need to start caring for the ones who always took care of us. Taking care of your grandparents does not need to be overly complicated. You can do many little things along with the more significant tasks. Here are some thoughts on how to support your grandparents.
Importance of Supporting Your Grandparents
Although it is not easy, taking care of your grandparents is essential for many reasons. Caring for them can teach you life skills for caregiving. When caring for an older adult, you can build your patience, compassion, and resource skills. Especially if no one else is caring for your grandparents, it is something you need to take over.
Older people love to connect with the younger generations. It can be a great time to update your grandparents on current trends and technologies they may not be as familiar with. You can bond and learn things from one another. They have lived a way longer life and have lots of stories and knowledge to share.
Listen to Them
One way to ensure your grandparents feel heard and loved is by listening to what they say. It may be repetitive worries or stories, but do your best to tune into what they’re saying. They may be experiencing mental challenges that lead them to do these things. How they speak may differ from how you are used to being spoken to. Being respectful and compassionate can help you overcome the barriers you may feel when speaking with them. Take your time to try and fully process what they are saying and what needs may be in their messages.
Stop In Often
One of the best things you can do for your grandparents is to visit them regularly. Especially if they are living alone, you want to make sure they have the opportunity to socialize and feel surrounded by people who love them. It can help with chronic loneliness while ensuring they are doing well. If you have children, bringing them along could lift their spirits as well. Having young kids around can give them a sense of happiness and feelings of being younger. Sometimes they can be too energetic, so it’s best to see how they feel before bringing them along.
Call If You Can’t Visit
Sometimes it’s impractical to stop in a couple of times a week. If you can’t visit them, call every few days even if they aren’t very dependent on talking to you. It can still brighten their day when you decide to give them a call.
Ensure Their Home Is Safe
The majority of your grandparent’s time is spent alone. You can’t be with them at all times to make sure their home is safe for them. The safety of their home is very important so that no hazards cause an unexpected accident. Things like power cords, stairs, and even throw rugs could be a disaster. You can add some home modifications to make sure it’s safe. Some ideas can be shower railings, emergency alarms, or home elevators. These safety precautions can help you and your grandparents feel more at ease while you’re away from each other.
Help Them Shop
Shopping can be great to spend quality time outside the house or ensure they get proper nutrition. You can go to the store with your grandparents to help them get the foods they need or just drop off the food yourself. If this becomes too time-consuming, you can set up meal delivery or grocery delivery services so they can get what they need right at their door. As they age, nutrition is essential so the body can function properly and fight diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and more. Following a diet with good nutrition and avoiding empty calories or fried food is best.
Update Their Calendars
This may be a small task, but it can help your grandparents greatly. With time flying by, they may lose track of what is going on each month with themselves and family members. To help them feel more organized and connected, update their calendars monthly. You can write down events they have coming up so they don’t forget. Putting down important holidays or birthdays can be helpful to keep them in the loop and include what’s going on as time passes by.
You may also want to create some events for them to do. There may be things going on in the community that they will find interesting and want to participate in. If not, you can plan times for both of you to get out of the house for breakfast or something else to look forward to.
Enjoy Your Time With Them
Although you may feel overwhelmed, you care for your grandparents out of love. They will appreciate you caring for them, especially if no one else is. Aging is difficult to deal with, so keep your patience and compassion when caring for them.