We are often too engrossed in our own lives that we overlook the mental health of our parents. It is taken for granted and we cannot deny it. It is about time to change our behavior and ask our parents how they are doing.
The unconditional love, care, and support that we get from our parents is often seen as their responsibility or is taken for granted. As they get older and we age, we tend to shift our entire focus on what’s happening around us and no second thoughts are given to the lives of those or who helped us grow into the people we are today.
What we need to understand is that the older our parents get, the more they need us in their lives. When your parents feel that you are not giving them enough attention and the sense that they are getting weaker or losing control might all combine and give birth to mental-health issues.
The saddest part is that this happens without anyone realizing the suffering these elderly go through. The facts that old-aged folks are the ones who are most vulnerable to mental health issues makes the situation even scarier.
To help you understand how you can take care of your aging parents, we have compiled a list of a few tips. Read on.
1. Identify and acknowledge the problems
The first thing that is of utmost importance is identifying the difference in your parent’s behavior. Once you have identified and acknowledged the changes that you have observed, make sure you seek help from a professional.
If you have Medicaid, that will help you speed up the process. You can find plenty of psychologists for Medicaid patients in New York City without having to search for it.
Contact a psychologist if you see your parents are feeling helpless, if they are constantly tired, irritated, or confused. Or, if they have been facing troubles sleeping and feel guilty for no reason.
2. Spend quality time with them
The best way to boost the mental health of your aging parents is perhaps just by spending quality time with them. Your parents will never ask too much from you. We are sure you can spare an hour from your daily lives for them.
Listen to what worries them. Ask them about what keeps them awake at night. Talk to them about their day. Make sure you are communicating with them. If you are away, hop on a video call every night before sleeping. It’s that simple.
3. Encourage them to engage in physical activity
Physical activity and mental wellness go hand-in-hand, no matter the age group. Exercising is known for improving mood. It is, thus, going to be truly helpful if you could encourage your parents to work out.
They can go out for a walk, try yoga, or maybe do a few minutes of freehand exercise every day. This way, they will be in a good mood the entire day and their mental-health is sure to improve.
4. Keep their sleep and nutrition in check
Just like working out, the food that you consume, and the number of hours that you sleep also impacts how you are feeling. Make sure your parents get a minimum of seven hours of sleep every day.
It is also important to keep the nutrition and diet of parents in check as it will help to combat major health issues.
5. Motivate them to make friends of the same age group
One of the primary factors that can make your parents develop mental health issues is the feeling of loneliness.
Thus, encourage your parents to go out and befriend people of the same age group. If they are not too keen on making new friends, motivate them to engage with their older friends.
Nothing beats the feeling of happiness like reminiscing the days with an old friend and laughing over a joke. It is a game-changer.
It is time we stop being selfish and stop overlooking our parent’s mental health. Talk to a professional, spend some quality time with them, and make sure they have a good routine. It doesn’t take much and after all, they are the two who taught you to live, it’s your turn now.