Elderly relatives are incredibly important to us. They’ve lived through wars, economic crashes, turbulent times in political history, perhaps a bevy of illnesses; yet still they come out fighting. All that wealth and experience means they’re wiser and stronger than most, with a host of rich and interesting things to say.
However, elderly people are often neglected or mistreated. Some of them, unfortunately, are left alone almost entirely by society. Consequently, it’s important that you stay in touch with them.
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Here are some more reasons for keeping in touch with your older relatives.
Time’s Running Out
Obvious and grimmest reasons out of the way first – if someone is elderly, then time is unfortunately running out for them. While no one likes to imagine their older loved ones leaving them, the fact remains that it will happen, often sooner rather than later. Consequently, it’s important to put in all the time with them that you can before you inevitably have to say goodbye.
You should ensure that their twilight years are full of love and laughter. When they pass away, their last thoughts should be of what a great life they’ve lived. If you rarely see them, there’s a chance they’ll spend their final days wondering where you are, if you’re okay, and if they’ll see you again. It’s heart-breaking, but simply getting in touch will remove these worries from their mind forever, and you won’t spend the rest of your life being burdened by guilt or regret.
They’re Most Likely Lonely
Unfortunately, loneliness has been on the rise amongst the elderly, as many older folks find that their friends and significant others pass away later on in life. Consequently, some of them are left with literally nobody to talk to, and they resign themselves to sitting alone in their homes and thinking of the days gone by.
One conversation with you, and no doubt they’ll soon light up and return to their chirpier selves after a while. You’d be surprised at how much keeping in touch with someone can wrench them out of a dark spell. It gives them something else to focus on, remind them that loved ones still think about them. You could even send them a meaningful card to remind them of what an important part of the family they are, which may make them feel proud and hopeful. In the end, a gesture like this really isn’t a big effort, and only takes a moment.
Returning the Favour
Your elderly relatives likely had a hand in raising you, whether they’re your parents or your grandparents. To leave them now at a time when they arguably need you most is not just complacent, it’s somewhat cruel too. Keep in mind all the money they’ve spent raising you, all the time and effort they’ve used up getting you to where you are now. They were devoted to you, so the least you can do is give them a call.
Remember, your older relatives can be extremely vulnerable too. In recent years, elderly people have fallen victim to a spate of scams both online and over the phone, and it could be that staying in touch with your own folks will alert you to any suspicious activity their end. By staying in contact, you could protect them from serious pitfalls in their later lives. Pick up the phone and listen to their problems, it’s the right thing to do.