Author: Robyn Neidbold
Robyn is 26 and has been a Marketing Intern at Aging Care Connections since August 2022. She found her passion for marketing through her internship at the Nevada Humane Society where she helped coordinate the annual Duck Race.
Many Millennials (b. 1981-1996) are starting to face the sad reality that their parents need extra help in their aging lives, or will need help soon. Millennials are faced with questions like, “where do I start” “what do my parents need” and “how do I make life comfortable and joyful for them while their bodies and minds are changing?” These are hard questions that don’t always have a clear answer. More often than not, we don’t even know what questions to ask.
Millennials also must consider their lives when making decisions to help their aging parents. Will helping your parents mean you have to make career sacrifices? Spend less time with your new and growing family? Mean you have to move states? There are a lot of unknown factors ahead for Millennials, but if you start having conversations now about aging with your loved ones, then you all will be better prepared for the future.
These are incredibly uncomfortable questions we have to ask ourselves, our new families, and even more importantly, our parents. Quality of life is not something that should be compromised, and Aging Care Connections (ACC) is here to help you and your families walk gracefully through the following stages in life. Before asking questions, ACC wants to remind you of three important factors when it comes to helping your parents.
1. Know Your Resources.
If you’re reading this article, you likely have some awareness of Aging Care Connections. ACC is an all-in-one resource to help you and your family. They can be your number one resource in helping your parents age healthily and happily with programs from nutritional needs to transitional care. ACC will even provide caregiver support to you, where you can connect with other caregivers in various support groups. What is so wonderful about ACC is the well-rounded care we provide for you and your family, making sure your mental and physical needs are met.
2. Don’t Go It Alone.
Your parents, and especially you, can feel very lonely throughout this process. COVID-19 showed humanity how much we need each other. We are social beings and need one another to live life fully. Don’t go against the grain here and think you can care for your family alone, find support groups like the ones ACC provides to find help and a shoulder to lean on. Talk to your friends and other family members, they likely also need your knowledge and support just as much as you need theirs. Consider volunteering at ACC before your parents need the help. This can give you a first-hand experience of the programs ACC provides and how to help your parents as they age while giving back and getting connected to your community.
3. Start Now.
This is the most essential step. Start caring for your parents now by asking them the hard questions. No one wants to talk about these topics, but don’t wait until it’s too late to ask these questions. Uncomfortable conversations now will lead to a safe and comfortable future for both you and your parents. Here is a list of questions to start asking your parents. You can start these conversations on a walk, during tea, or schedule them on the calendar with your family members. If you are entirely uncomfortable having these questions, consider breaking up the questions with other non-related questions. These conversations can be light-hearted or serious. It is just vital that you start now.
Here is a list of questions or conversation starters to have with your family.
These questions don’t even scratch the surface, however, they are a starting point and will lead to more conversations. It is also important to ask yourself and your spouse/family questions too. Your needs shouldn’t be left in the dust throughout these years. Here are some questions to ask yourself and your spouse/family.
Whether or not your parents need care or not now, they will at some point. Get comfortable being uncomfortable with the new changes you will all face. Make sure that you have support from your family, friends, and community so that you can help your parents age happily and healthily. Aging Care Connections is here to help you and your family through all of these new stages, so please don’t wait to start these conversations and get involved with ACC, by visiting our website at https://www.agingcareconnections.org and/or calling us at (708) 354-1323.
Our blog features perspectives on aging from a multi-generational group of authors who share their unique point of view on the question, "What does it mean to age well?"