Elderly parents slow down as they age due to physical and mental fatigue, which is accompanied by a growing inability to travel. Sadness or even depression in these individuals is likely, especially if they are no longer able to enjoy the activities they took part in years ago. The fact that you are a major part of their lives is a significant factor in keeping them physically and emotionally well, which also helps reduce the time you spend worrying about the well-being of your parents.
Spend as much time as you can with your elderly parents. While it's likely you aren't able to see your parents every day, visiting them and taking them out a few times during the week will keep them busy, if only for a few hours. They'll also enjoy simply talking with you while sitting inside their home.
Find information about events that interest your parents and then either tell your parents about those events or take them to the events yourself. Some elderly parents don't seek out such information, and your reminding them of a concert, baseball game or other event prevents them from missing out on such goings-on in the community.
Sign your parents up for classes and other weekly events. Elderly parents in a nursing home, for example, have card games, bingo games and trips available to them on a daily and/or weekly basis. Making such commitments for your parents pushes them to partake in such gatherings, which leads to them making new friends.
Set up a weekly family dinner that includes your elderly parents. Such dinners let your parents socialize with other family members, and also lets those individuals set up a time to see your parents on a different day. These repeated gatherings keep your family close and keep your parents happy.
Involve yourself in matters important to your parents. If your parents attend daily Mass, for example, attend a service or two a week, including Sunday Mass. Doing so helps to keep your parents interested in that particular matter.
Speak with elderly friends of your parents about spending time with your parents. These individuals socialize with your parents on a different level than you do, and are able to have conversations of shared interests, such as grandchildren.
- Remember that the best thing you can do to keep your elderly parents busy and happy is to speak with them and see them as often as you can. Something as seemingly insignificant as a daily phone call means more to your parents than you probably realize.
- Don't push your parents. If your mom is not physically able to walk long distances, for example, take her only to museums or even shopping centers that offer mechanical transportation.
- Speak with a doctor of your parent if you feel your parent is not interested in leaving the house or socializing with others. Such behavior is a sign of depression, which is a very serious issue.