Many parents struggle when their children leave home to pursue their education and careers, suffering what is known as “empty nest syndrome.” They may suddenly find themselves with fewer responsibilities and people to talk to.
Fortunately, digital and cellular communications make it easier for you to stay connected with parents, even while you are far away. There are also more options for parental care as they age. Think about these seven ways to keep in touch with your folks and provide them the care they need.
1. Send gift cards
You parents will love the opportunity to go out for a fancy dinner or shop at the mall. They may have spent massive amounts of funds caring for you and sending you to school. Now is your chance to surprise them with a gift card.
2. Visit regularly
Pay your folks a visit during school breaks or periods of downtime at work. They will more than appreciate the gesture. Even if your parents don’t seem to need company, it can be a good time to reconnect. You may discover that you have more things you want to ask them about, as time passes.
3. Help them get a pet
Parents suffering from empty nest syndrome may thrive if they have a pet to distract them. Animals can be incredibly therapeutic, since they’ll rely on your parents’ care and attention. Visit nearby animal shelters and pet stores with your parents to find an animal that will fit their lifestyle needs.
4. Video chat
Mobile devices have made video chat extremely affordable and easy to do. If you and your parents are unable to meet in person, consider scheduling a Skype or Facetime conversation with them. You can give them a tour of your home and have them speak with their grandchildren.
5. Travel together
If your parents are able enough to travel, you may want to schedule a relaxing cruise with them. If they are the adventurous type, consider travelling to a foreign country that your family has always wanted to see.
6. Hire a homecare companion
You parents may start to suffer from various mental and physical ailments as they age. If you are worried about their health, you may wish to hire a home companion to check on them. Your parents can enjoy the comforts of home while a trained professional stops by on a regular basis to check on their well-being.
7. Help them network
If your parents are retired, they can alleviate their boredom with neighborhood groups, online communities, and local social activities. Show them how to find these gatherings online or in the newspapers.