Parent's Day, observed on July 26, is an excellent time to say thank you to the ones that raised you—no matter how old you are. Parents love to feel appreciated, but, even if you have your own kids, it is easy to forget this about your parents as you go on with your daily lives. There are, however, many simple actions you can take to show your love and care for your parents. What you do to commemorate this day is as open as your imagination, but here are a few suggestions to get you started thinking about how to treat your elderly parents to a special Parent's Day this year.
1. Complete Tasks You Promised to Finish
While a simple task like changing a burned out lightbulb in the refrigerator, helping put up new curtains, or hanging pictures might seem like a little thing to you, finishing up a task you keep putting off until the next time you visit can be a big thing for your parents. Not only will it show that you care, but, if mom or dad has recently moved into a retirement community, it can help them feel more settled and at home.
On Parent's Day, pull out your toolbox, put on your handyman cap, and get ready to scratch a few tasks off mom’s to-do list.
2. Listen without Judgment
We understand that as your parents age, they become more reliant on you. This can feel like a burden. On Parent's Day, we challenge you to listen to questions your parents may have—about their health, finances or technology, and do your best to answer without getting frustrated. Sit down and listen to what they need. Maybe they’re not sure how to set the clock on their microwave or have a few errands to run.
Many elderly adults—whether they live in their own homes or in senior communities—don't want to feel like a burden, so you may need to be proactive and ask whether mom or dad have any questions or need errands run. Just make sure that you set aside enough time to complete their errands without feeling rushed.
Even if your parent’s just need you to run to the pharmacy to pick up a new prescription, no task is too small to let your parents know you are paying attention to their needs.
3. Take Your Parent Out to Dinner
When was the last time you enjoyed a dinner out with your mom or dad? If it’s been a while, now is the perfect time to take them out as a treat. It doesn't have to be expensive or extravagant, just make sure that it’s a restaurant they love. Do the two of you have a favorite place to enjoy breakfast on the weekends when you were younger? Does the diner on the corner serve the best burgers you’ve ever had? While it is nice to try new restaurants, it is likely that your elderly parent will find comfort in going to a place that they already know. When the menu is familiar, they won't have as much anxiety over what to order. Going out to dinner can be stressful for an elderly person, so you want to make the experience as comfortable as possible. Also consider going at a time when the restaurant will be less crowded.
As your parents get older, they still need to know that you love and appreciate them. While you may no longer make them drawings for the refrigerator, they still remember that young child who once brought them home fistfuls of dandelions to show them you cared. While you methods may have changed as you’ve both gotten older, take the time to do something special for them on Parent's Day.