How often should you visit your parents?

As an elderly parent grows older, they require more space, care and time. Source: Getty

Family, work and social commitments can fill up the week pretty quickly, leaving not much time to visit the ones you love. 

According to a survey published in Mature Times, more than 10 per cent of adult children aged 55-plus with elderly parents still living, haven’t seen their parents in the past year, The Guardian reported. 

A third of Baby Boomers said they felt guilty for not visiting their parents more often, and four out of 10 felt that their own children don’t visit enough. So, how often should you visit your parents? 

For a few families, visiting weekly is common, however, in some cases, depending on location, visiting frequency could be a lot less, from monthly to once or twice a year. 

A user wrote on the online forum Mumsnet: “I see my dad once a year, and my mum maybe 3-4 times. They moved six hours away, I don’t drive and dad never comes back “home”. I go and visit for a week once a year but can’t go more than that due to work.”

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On the other hand for some users, visiting regularly is a must. One user wrote: “I visit mine about three times a week but they only live 10 mins away. We moved closer to them a year after we married because I missed them too much.”

Another added: “My grandfather is 83 and lives an hour away. I visit him 2-3 times a week and do some cleaning for him, shopping and washing as well as keeping him company. Most importantly, I do it all because (for the most part) I love them. However, I can’t deny that I feel duty bound to do a lot of it. I’m just lucky that I’m in a position to do it.”

If a parent lives in aged care, does this mean you can cut back your visits? While some believe you should still check-in daily, others think it’s okay to drop in less, as there are carers and other residents on-site. 

Home care is sometimes frowned upon, but if a child works full-time, it’s often the best option for parents  who require more space, time and care as they grow older. Research by Australian aged care provider, Whiddon Group, found that 50 per cent of seniors living at home are lonely

If you never really got along with your parents, it can even be more difficult. Nonetheless, every child and parent relationship is different. As a user added, “You shouldn’t feel pushed into visiting, you should visit/help because you want to.”

How often should you visit your parents? Do you feel guilty for not seeing them, as much as you should?