As your parents get older, it’s important to keep in mind that some things are going to change. It might seem difficult to keep a strong relationship with an aging parent, but all it takes is some time and effort from you. When your parents see how much you still want to be in their life, they’ll open up and be willing to spend time with you as well.

Communicate. This is important for any relationship, really. Communication will look different based on your parent’s needs and the distance between you, but it’s important to keep in touch and to check in frequently. If you live close by, you should visit at least once a week. If not, call frequently. The calls don’t need to be long, but just check in and find out if your loved one needs anything.

Focus on their needs. You’ll find out what those needs are exactly as you spend more time with your aging parent. Everyone’s needs are different, but the important thing is to make sure that your loved one knows how much you care and that you want to help out in any way possible.

Spend time together. Go out and do something fun together, or simply stop by your parent’s place to talk and spend time together. Of course, make sure you keep your loved one’s interests in mind when you’re deciding what to do. Maybe you can eat dinner together once a week or so.

By spending time with your loved one, you’ll be able to notice any changes in personality as well as in physical health. Whenever you go over, make sure you pay attention to the way your parent is acting. Watch his or her mood and general countenance. Pay attention to how much energy your loved one has as well.

You might start to notice some changes in health or energy as you spend time with your parent. If there is anything you’re concerned about, discuss it with your parent and consider your options. If you consider it necessary, you might want to start discussing the possibility of a senior living community as well. Especially if your parent lives alone, living at home might begin to feel isolating as your loved one grows older and has less energy to go out.