5 ways to empower your parents
We've all been there – thinking about how we can better help our aged parents live lives to the fullest as they age. Here are five fun hacks that your parents can take on by themselves or with you.
Getting your parents outdoors is a great way of helping them stay physically and mentally healthy. Choose activities that everyone can participate in – fishing, a hike or a picnic at one of our many parks or gardens, cycling and even 'glamping'! There is no lack in sunny Singapore. Physical activities such as hiking up a steep incline can build their stamina up and are massive muscle builders. The fresh air and calming elements of nature can also help to soothe their souls, and relieve stress.
You can even drum up enthusiasm from your parents by making these family trips a regularity, giving them something to look forward to weekly. Be aware of their current fitness levels, and encourage them to push themselves a little more.
Research shows that if the everyday things have started to become difficult, an exercise routine can help to reverse some of the damage. Whether it's lifting a form of weight, or walking a steep incline, activities that build resistance are massive muscle helpers that allow our parents to remain independent and continue doing everyday things with ease even as they age.
An exercise regime can be mundane to follow, and encouraging your parents to stay on it might be tough. Adding in the element of competition, however, might bring out the competitive spirit in them, and motivate them to do their best in these exercises. An easy and fair way to compete with your parents is simply setting fitness targets based on your respective fitness levels, and keeping each other in check on hitting these targets monthly. Competitive, fun, and healthy – what’s there to lose?
What are some of your parents’ interests? What did they used to enjoy doing in the past, but may have stopped doing because of their current physical limitations getting in the way? Why not encourage them to revisit the activity? Be it fishing, table tennis or even painting, encourage them to pursue their dream again.
Better still, join them! Rather than simply helping them to sign up for the classes, surprise them by enrolling in the class together! Your interest in their hobbies, and being a part of their journey in revisiting their old hobbies can be a huge motivation for them to continue pursuing what they love. Furthermore, with SkillsFuture credits readily available, there is a wide treasure trove of courses you can sign your parents up for! From learning how to use a smartphone better, to fashion design and even how to give a good massage – your parents will definitely be interested in an activity or two. After all, when they sent you for extra-curricular lessons as a child, they believed in you – do the same for them today, and believe that they still have what it takes to chase their dreams.
Teaching your parents the ways of social media can introduce them to a whole new world of activities they can begin doing. They need not become full-fledged influencers, but it certainly will keep them current, and spice up their lives.
From taking selfies to showing off their latest hobbies to their friends, teaching them to be a part of this virtual world opens up opportunities of connecting with old friends, and staying up-to-date. It also creates opportunities for bonding, as you explore the different features together, and reminisce about old memories together. Not sure where to start? Take cue from our most popular senior influencers:
Prime Minister Lee, Papa Chong and even Singapore's very own 'Uncle Sim'. So simple!
As with any activity, a positive environment of encouragement, affirmation and support goes a long way to seeing success. As a caregiver and child, your words and influence have a strong impact on your parents.
As parents age, children tend to nag at them, which can cause much unhappiness and tension. Instead of nagging, choose to adopt an attitude that constantly supports them in both your actions and words, and empower them with all they need to reach their goals and begin a lifestyle of active living. Choose positive words and actions that help them feel valued, appreciated and loved.
|say more of||say less of|
|We're almost there, let me help you!||Can you walk a bit faster please? We need to hurry.|
|How are you feeling today? Remember to take your medicine to get well soon!||Aiyoh, how many times have I reminded you to take your medicine?|
|I get worried when you don't eat healthily. I know this is your favourite but try to eat less of it.||This is bad for you. Stop eating so much of it.|
Most importantly, foster in them a positive mindset and attitude towards keeping fit by believing in them, and being their pillar of support.
Slowing the inevitable loss of muscle mass in our parents as they age lies not just in an active lifestyle, but also in the right nutrition. Be the positive influence in your parents’ lives today, and empower them on their journey in bringing back their gold.