With everyone so busy these days, time management has become an issue for many. Creating a schedule that includes everything you both need and want to do, including visit your aging parents, may feel overwhelming.
Finding time to visit your aging parents, while sometimes a creative exercise in time management, typically results in benefits for everyone. Seniors may feel lonely and isolated, and visits from family, especially their children, can be a bright spot in their day, not to mention that socializing is good for their mental and physical health. Not only are these visits beneficial for your parents, they are good for you as well. Connecting with your aging parents, reminiscing, and just physically spending time together can be special times for both parents and their adult children.
Clearly, visiting your aging parents is important to you. Getting creative with the suggestions below might make it easier to find the time:
- Setting aside a specific time each week. With various work and family obligations always popping up, sometimes it’s hard to accomplish everything you want unless it’s on your calendar.
- Reevaluating how much time you spend per visit. A short visit is likely better than no visit if that’s all the time you can spare. What’s important is showing up for your loved one!
- Combining activities or errands that you need or want to do yourself with a visit can be a good use of your limited time. For example, if you need to do your grocery shopping, you can include your parents. That way you can help them with their shopping and get yours done as well. But you can also include your parents in more fun activities. You know that movie you’ve been wanting to see? Take them with you. Again, the important thing is to spend time together.
- Scheduling technology visits. FaceTime and Skype are just two examples of ways you can video chat with your aging parents. If you can’t physically be with them, this is a good way to actually see how your parents are doing, as opposed to just speaking on the telephone.
- Vacationing together. Perhaps you can schedule a portion of your vacation to spend some quality time with your aging parents? Even better, if their health allows, why not take them on a cruise or sightseeing trip? This would surely create wonderful memories for everyone.
Of course, if you live far away, you will likely visit your aging parents less frequently, though these visits can still be enjoyable and productive. From attending doctor’s appointments to making sure their daily needs are still being met, you can be a great caregiver even from a long distance.
Whether you live close by or far away, when you visit your aging parents you both benefit. Spending time together and caring for your parents during their later years is, in many ways, an honor, and the ultimate expression of love and gratitude.