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Better Organization Can Help Families Make Time for Seniors

Make the grandparents part of your family's routine. If they are in good health, let them pitch in and help.
Make the grandparents part of your family's routine. If they are in good health, let them pitch in and help.

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September 6, 2011

Juggling the demands of daily life can be particularly difficult for family caregivers. If you’re caring for an older adult, you may need extra help. Your local Home Instead Senior Care® office can offer a variety of resources to make life easier.

Q. Fall is such a busy family time with school and sports activities for our children, and work and home obligations for my husband and me. I’m guilty because I feel I’m neglecting my 72-year-old parents. I know they get lonely. What can I change to make more time for them?

Balancing work and family obligations is never easy for any family, especially those with young children and older adults. The first thing you should do is try to get organized. Do you have weekly and monthly family schedules? If not, sit down as a family and write down all the activities that you, your husband or children have planned. Keep everything on one calendar so you don’t get confused and let activities fall through the cracks.

By doing that, you might find places in your schedule where you can plan a fun activity or a visit with your parents. Why not make your parents a part of your routine? If they’re in good health, they may like to help. Asking them to pitch in to take your son or daughter to school or sporting activities or practice may help them feel needed. At the very least, they might like to attend as guests.

Most families dine out at least once a week, if not more. When you do, why not invite your parents to join you? Or take dinner to them if they’re not able to get out.

Here’s another idea: Perhaps your children could go to Grandpa and Grandma’s home to do homework. Many grandparents enjoy talking with their grandchildren about their studies, and can provide a unique perspective on history and other topics. Such an activity can be a learning experience for both your children and your parents.

If your parents need assistance around their home or additional companionship, consider hiring someone to come to their house. Home Instead CAREGiversSM may be just what your mom and dad need to add a new dimension to their lives. In addition to serving as companions, CAREGivers can help with meal preparation, light housekeeping, medication reminders, errands and shopping. One of the organization’s most requested services is companionship, which sounds like just what your mom and dad need.

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. October 14, 2016 at 11:04 pm | Posted by Mary

    My is very ill. I want her home and care for her. I also.need to work so i can support.her as well. Are there affordable ways to have someone with her while i work 4 days a week? And.continue as soon as. I get out of work. Any ideas? I sub so at $24 an hour when i makes it.only $12 13 an seem insurmountable


    • October 17, 2016 at 3:00 pm | Posted by Home Instead

      Mary, I am not sure if this would help, but if your mother has Alzheimer's or Dementia there is a grant program you can apply for. Here is the link: Thank you for sharing your feelings.


  2. July 4, 2015 at 7:05 pm | Posted by Patti Bunston

    Yes, I do agree that scheduling activities is very important so that everyone can be on the same page and know exactly what is going on in the household and when to plan activities with family. I, personally, book off the last week of every month to go and spend time with my 90 year old Mum. My family are all aware that I will be away from my home during that week and it is easy to make arrangements on other days and times. Not everyone has the luxury that I have of spending a whole week with their Mums but maybe book off the 3rd weekend of every month to do activities with your elderly parents, aunts, uncles and other friends. This way your loved ones will know that this is the special time set just aside for them.


    • July 14, 2015 at 9:19 am | Posted by Cat Koehler

      This is a great idea! It may not be a whole week, but you're right, putting it on the schedule and keeping it consistent is a great way to keep it happening.


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