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Ageing parents need our support. Here are 5 ways to help

How to care for your parents as they age

As parents, we are so focused on caring for our kids that we sometimes forget that our ageing parents have certain needs as well. Here are some tips on how you can help them age well by considering their physical, mental and financial health.

1. Sign them up for group fitness activities

Regular age-appropriate exercise will help senior citizens remain healthy and independent. If your parents need some inspiration, browse the ActiveSg portal to pick out senior-friendly group classes that may motivate them to stick to a regular exercise schedule. Or check out the activities available at a park or community centre near them – many groups hold low-impact classes like yoga and tai chi, which can help your parents stay fit while enjoying some social activity.

2. Encourage volunteer work

To prevent a sense of isolation and boredom after retirement, encourage your parents to keep busy with activities such as volunteer work. Besides serving the community, engaging in such work is good for their mental and emotional health, and can also increase their sense of self-worth. There are a whole range of volunteer opportunities available, from caring for animals at a pet shelter like SPCA to mentoring at-risk primary school children. For more ideas, check out RSVP Singapore – The Organisation of Senior Volunteers.

3. Encourage them to learn a new skill

It is never too late to gain a new qualification or pick up a new skill. Check out sites like Coursera for free online courses from top educational institutions around the world or the National Silver Academy (NSA), which offers learning opportunities in areas including health and wellness, design, finance, IT and the humanities. Attending classes offered by the NSA will also give your parents the opportunity to meet and socialise with like-minded individuals.

4. Ensure financial support for their healthcare needs

Healthcare costs tend to increase as people age, so take the necessary steps to ensure your elderly parents are financially secure in this aspect. If they qualify for the government’s  Pioneer Generation Package, familiarise yourself with it so you can advise your parents accordingly. Additionally, your parents can widen their safety net by considering options such as health insurance or hospital coverage plans that are most suited to their needs. This will ensure peace of mind and financial comfort as they age.

5. Make time for family-bonding activities

Spend quality time with your parents, beyond simply leaving your kids with them for babysitting. Encourage them to take part in social activities that you’ve planned on weekends. And when organising family gatherings, get them actively involved by having them invite members of the extended family or contribute a home-cooked dish.

With just a little bit of effort, you can help to ensure that your parents live and age well.

Also, check out our MyWay programme, a specially designed lifestyle programme for the 55+ age group, offering exclusive dining, travel and healthcare privileges, as well as access to income-generating wealth solutions.

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