By Kerry Knight
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No, I’m not going to preach a sermon. We’ll leave that to the priests, bishops, rabbis, deacons and other leaders of worship. But I do want to say a few things about taking action instead of uttering a mere words.
Unfortunately, not all parents deserve to wear the T-shirts that say, “World’s Greatest Dad,” or “World’s Greatest Mom.” There is much variation in the parenting skills among individuals. Some do a great job of instilling good character, strong work ethics, a passion for education, persistence to achieve, and a sense of patriotism and civic-mindedness. On the other hand, many should never have become parents in the first place. Thankfully, this number is in the minority.
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During the Thanksgiving holiday, let me suggest a few ways you might genuinely show your appreciation to your parents. H. Jackson Brown wrote, “Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed in the things you didn’t do than the ones you did do.” Don't that statement pertain to your relationship with your parents and other loved ones.
As our parents age, giving them our time might be the most precious gift of all. As parents reach their golden years, personal companionship with loved ones and friends becomes vitally important. This is especially true if one parent has lost their mate. Children and grandchildren may be their only family left. Many grown children are content to send their parents’ money, pay for their assisted living home, or pay someone else to spend time with their senior parents. But is this really what they need? Their golden years can be awfully lonely. Instead of calling your parents on the phone to say, “I love you,” why not make a surprise visit, for no reason, except to show them how much you care.
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Take your parents to one of their favorite places. Maybe it’s a restaurant offering their favorite menu items, or shopping at the local mall. Yes, it may be inconvenient and difficult. They may have to be helped into the automobile. They might require you to help them with their walker or even their wheelchair. Or maybe there's a favorite activity you can share, such as playing cards, making music, cooking, playing with their grandchildren, etc. Sure, it might be time consuming and a slow ordeal for you, but what is it worth to them? Mark Twain once said, “Action speaks louder than words, but not nearly as often.”
Reminisce with them about the past. Many seniors spend a lot of time thinking about the past. That’s where their world is. The present may be too painful for them to contemplate, and the future uncertain. Memory can be a wonderful thing. If their mind is still sharp, they may surprise you with what they can recall. Strangely enough, even with dementia, many seniors can recall details of the past that will astound you. Why not pull down some old photo albums and recreate some special memories with them. It will take your time, but think about what you are doing for them. “The pleasure of remembering has been taken from me, because there was no one left to remember with,” writes John Green. Don’t let this describe the situation with your parent(s).
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Invite them over for the holidays. Nothing is worse than spending the holidays with strangers or worse yet, alone. If your parents don’t live with you, you should invite them to your home for important holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, New Years, etc. Take them shopping to buy gifts during the giving season. The budget is not important, it’s the activity itself. What a great way to say, “I love you,” in deeds not words. Having mom or dad to sit around the fireplace with grown children, kids, grandkids, and other close family members are priceless. They will feel loved. Having somewhere to go is a home away from home. Having someone to love is family. Having both is a true blessing.
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If you’re buying a gift for your parents, purchase something that really makes a statement about how much you care about them and their well-being. I’m not talking about a shawl, fruitcake, a pair of pajamas or even a tablet. How about something that will give them a better quality of life? For example, my own mother has fallen many times. Each time makes her weaker and more susceptible to falling again. Statistics show that falls can cause serious head trauma, especially in seniors, and maybe even death.
Two of the greatest innovations to come along in recent years to create a safer environment for seniors, especially in the dangerous bathroom area, are Walk-in Tubs and the Safety Shower Suites. Each system has specific safety and ergonomic features designed for seniors and those who may have mobility issues.
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Importantly, both the Walk-in Tub and Safety Suite Showers allow your beloved senior to bathe without assistance. Each state-of-the-art product is specifically designed for easy access and egress, so your parent can feel secure as they enter and exist their bathing area. Both products are specifically designed for safety by providing grab bars at strategically located areas to facilitate movement inside the bathing environment. Both have special, non-slip surfaces. The Walk-in tub has a non-slip seat and the Safety Suite Shower has a variety of different non-slip seating configurations you can choose from. Our new Safety Suite Showers can accommodate wheelchairs, walkers and makes it easy for those with less mobility to get in and out of the shower.
For additional information about Walk-in Tubs, check out some of our previous blogs, including: “There’s Never Been a Better Time to Buy a Walk-in Tub,” “The Number One Question Asked About Walk-in Tubs,” and others.
For more information about out new Safety Suite Showers, read “What’s New in Showers? Sophistication Today, Safety Tomorrow.”
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Tub King’s Walk-in Tubs and Safety Suite Showers both have proven to help seniors in so many ways. Wouldn’t this be a perfect way to show your love and appreciation to your parents? Family is not just about saying, “I love you,” it’s about who is willing to hold someone's hand when they need it the most.
In this article, I mentioned several different ways you can show your aging parents how much you care and appreciate them, including the gift of a safe bathroom and bathing experience. Ensuring they’re safe and can still maintain dignity and privacy while bathing themselves is one way to do it. Walk-in Tubs and Safety Shower Suites are the perfect gifts to show your parent(s) they’re foremost in your heart.
If you found this article useful, please share it with your family, friends and co-workers. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the Comment section of this blog. Thanks again for visiting with us.
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If you’d like to receive a FREE Walk-In Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here. Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and I’ll personally get back to you.
It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.
On behalf of all of us at Tub King, here’s wishing you, your parents, and all your loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving.
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Alan and Kerry Knight are the owners of Tub King, Inc., and SeniorBathtub.com in Jacksonville, Florida. Together they have many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. Their companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. If you’d like to contact them, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email to Alan@tubking.com.
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