With social distancing, many aging parents are remaining at home away from their adult children and grandchildren, as well as their friends.
If your parents are still married, they have the companionship of their spouse.
But for parents who are single, it may be more challenging staying alone. They can easily slide into depression from having no social interaction.
During this pause in our normal life, many are calling their aging parents more often. Wireless carriers are seeing an uptick in the number of wireless calls.
Verizon is handling more calls daily than what is typically seen on Mother’s Day. AT&T reports an increase of 35 percent in call volume.
What’s interesting about this information is that the length of calls is increasing.
When calling your aging parents, probe more to find out how they are really doing during this pandemic. Pay attention to signals about their state of mind and physical well-being.
Help them develop a daily routine that includes mental and physical exercises. Here are some suggestions:
If they are becoming extremely anxious and worried, suggest they take a break from watching the news. Recommend movies or shows for them to watch.
If they are uncomfortable going outside for a walk, suggest indoor exercises for them to try. Find several YouTube tutorials to send them.
If they are comfortable with some technology, teach them how to use video calls such as WhatsApp, Skype or FaceTime. They may enjoy seeing you as well as hearing your voice.
If they are lonely (especially single parents), enlist others to call them regularly. Schedule relatives to call while they are drinking their morning coffee or eating an afternoon snack.
Use your more frequent calls to your aging parents as a way to assess their well-being. Listen more and talk less.
Information they provide will help you learn more about them as an adult. It will also help assess if they can really continue to live independently or if it’s time to make a change.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, RICP®, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include developing spending plans, comprehensive financial plans, divorce financial reviews, retirement plans. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.’”
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