This article is about our parents and how we should take care if them. Many aged parents who are struggling in their daily lives because of a lack of support from their family members. Parents during our childhood have strived hard to meet our demands be it an expensive toy, to our clothes, to our education even taken loans to send us abroad for higher studies, take care of our kids whilst we can focus on our work. Parents are our first guru’s, it is our responsibility to take care of them at old age. Here are some important steps that we can do to make their lives conformable. If you see the below details they are not so complicated, just simple things to make lives comfortable when they require it the most
Mostly after retirement, our parents feel very lonely as they are used to regular routine of 9 to 5 job. To overcome this and to ensure that they are active not dependent on their children fully, there some important things that we can do.
- Take health insurance for them at an early age like 35 or so, and keep renewing it every year.
- Ensure that they go for health check-ups twice a year. Some insurance companies cover it. Take those ones.
- Encourage them to do their own work this will make them active, unless they have health issues.
- if parents are spiritual then encourage them to practice it regularly like mantra chanting, meditation, prayers and take them to the temple or church.
- Encourage them to keep going on daily walks and join the senior citizens club if they want to. The advantage is that the senior citizens usually celebrate birthday parties, go out to temple visits. So they will have friends of their age.
- Some parents want to stay independent from their kids, respect their decision. But ensure that all their needs are taken care and helper is there.
- Teach them to check bank statements online than go to banks. Ensure they also can buy groceries/vegetables online.
- Some parents want to settle in an old age home. This is absolutely fine, there are good old age homes now with excellent facilities. They don't need to cook, it’s a campus like environment. There is a doctor facility also and bathrooms are designed for senior citizens.
- As children, if we are in another country then keep checking on them and calling them especially on their wedding anniversary and birthdays.
- Sometimes kids call their parents to their place abroad to help during pregnancy. This is ok, but remember our children are our responsibility. Parents
should be called to visit and to see places not to make them work. They will do whatever we ask them, but sometimes they will feel bored and dependent.
- If parents are staying alone or with us then ensure that bathroom flooring is rough and there are holders. This will help in preventing accidents.
- For medication, the medical shops deliver medicines at home or as children we can order online. Even simple blood tests can be done at home.
- Post-retirement also our parents can work like taking tuition, as a tax consultant, or any other skill they have so that they are active. They can teach their grandchildren. Soduku is a great thing that they can get hooked as it sharpens the mind.
As conclusion, go and tell your parents how much you love them today and now, It's the least you could do and it would mean the world to them. To care for those who cared for us is one of the greatest services.
They did not leave you when you were young so don't leave them when they are old. Never take your loved ones for granted because you never know when their hearts will stop beating and you won't have a chance to say goodbye.
Author: Murali Tangirala, Msc in Physics from IIT Bombay.