One certainty in life is that we will all grow old. We will lose our youthful glow and have dull and wrinkly skin with fine lines and grey hair too. A lot of physical changes happen when a person grows old, but these are prominent and obvious changes that one notices. More than the changed in physical appearance is the continued deterioration of our internal body system. Our body system is like an engine that needs to be maintained and repaired to function well, but over time, it will eventually weaken and can never be repaired anymore.
Just as Ben Martin, PsyD, says, “you will reach a point in life where you may ask yourself what you’re currently looking your best. You may also say that this is the best you’ll ever feel or be able to do. Such a feeling may indicate some midlife crisis.” There is nothing wrong with aging. We cannot stop our body from going in that direction. Some cosmetic procedures can extend the normal process of deterioration, but our digital age will continue no matter what.
When Parents Start To Age
From the time that we were born, our parents looked after us and did everything just to secure us a better future. Like the circle of life, when they start to age, it is now the duty and responsibility of children to take care of them. According to Azadeh Aalai, PhD, “aging comes with unique challenges, throughout the process, you may need more support and become less independent.”
Most Asian countries have practiced that children are the ones to take care of their aging parents. If there are many children in the family, the siblings will confer among themselves on how to handle the situation. In Western countries, the culture is entirely different. Their aging parents are brought to a residential facility where designated caregivers are the ones who take care of them.
Achieving The Circle Of Life
If the gauge of becoming good parents is based on how to raise their children, then we too shall be judged based on how we treated our parents especially when they are near to retirement. As children, the best way that we can compensate for all the sacrifices and handworks that our parents did since we were born is to love them back merely.
Just as Roberta Satow, PhD, says, “As caregivers, we often feel guilty for not rescuing our parents from the pain and discomfort of old age. But we cannot rescue them; we can only offer our love and support and hope they accept it.”
The love that we have for them will make it easy for us to keep up with the changes that our parents must go through, especially if the aging process starts to slow them down.
Actively Participate In The Care
First, when parents start to feel a bit strange about their body, they begin to over-think that there might be something wrong with them. Instead of telling them to stop thinking negative thoughts, take them to specialists to determine their exact medical condition. This way, they will feel that they are still important despite not being able to provide for the family.
Second, securing their safety at home is essential, because once our parents started to lose their senses like vision, hearing, and balance, they are predisposed to accidents that might cause an additional problem with their health. Make sure to remove clutters around the house, provide proper lighting and making sure that they do not do things on their own.
Lastly, scheduling their monthly or quarterly check-ups, serving them their maintenance medicine and spending quality time with them would be helpful to make them accustomed to the changes of aging. In return, it will also help us to understand our parents better as we take part in their aging.