Here is Rule #1 from Mike Nock’s article “5 Rules to Help Our Parents Age Successfully,” reprinted with permission from Mike. Find Mike Nock at Thrive Westshore. Phone: (440) 345-6752.
Rule 1: At All Costs, Be in Touch
Depending on how old your parents are, there are lots of good reasons to focus on presence as a core objective.
If they’re independent, recently retired and healthy, this is an ideal opportunity to share this wonderful time with them – no job, no mortgage, no responsibilities – possibly with your adorable kids around to bring them joy (and go home at night).
And it’s the right time to establish an enriched phase in your relationship – still their child but a friend and partner in their happiness and well-being.
If they’re a little further up the aging ladder, you’ve reached a new phase. It’s time to ratchet up the contact:
- to begin monitoring their health, habits and safety;
- to spot opportunities to help, either with day-to-day living or decision-making about the future; and
- most important, to deliver peace of mind, ensuring them that you’re thinking of them and ready at any time to be there.
If you focus on routine, natural contact when everything is swell, inevitable future challenges (health trouble or death of a spouse or taking away the keys) will be easier to deal with.
When you’re with them, BE there. It’s heartbreaking when parents anticipate a son’s return to town, then watch him head out every night with old friends or turn their home into a branch office for his company.
Finally, any traffic jam, delayed flight or canceled meeting is a chance to invest in the happiness of a parent.
Really want to make your dad happy?
Call him for no reason and chat for 15 minutes about something trivial!
If you like this article, you might also like Mike Nock’s article “10 Resolutions for Dealing with Aging Parents, which can be found here.
Please share your thoughts on Rule #1 in the comment box below.
Do you think it’s good advice?
Anything you’d like to add?