The day will come when our parents will no longer be able to climb the stairs, much more feed themselves. They might still be in good health today, but one day, the effects of aging will be more evident in them. When that time comes, we’ll want to give them the best support possible. But first, we need to have the Big Talk.
Are You Responsible for Your Aging Parents?
Not everyone had a smooth relationship with his or her parents growing up, so naturally, we can’t have the same sentiments about caring for them as they meet the end of their days. But we all have an innate and ethical responsibility to help our loved ones as they age, personal histories aside.
Planning for the Future of Your Parents
Step 1: Address the Elephant in the Room
For many families, the hardest part of planning for the parents’ future is addressing the elephant in the room. No one wants to think about their parents being unable to fend for themselves as they live the last years of their lives, much more talk about it. 75% of adults avoid the Big Talk.
However, proper planning is the first step to ensuring that your parents will be as comfortable and safe as possible as they live their twilight years. Arrange a family meeting and do it personally, not through a video call or over the phone.
Step 2: Discuss Future Arrangements
During the meeting, consider your parents’ future needs and acknowledge their wishes. Decide whether they’re okay with going to a nursing home or an assisted living facility or if a meeting with a granny flat builder in Melbourne should be in place. Apart from the living arrangements, you might also want to talk about their finances, care plans, and even your parents’ funeral wishes.
Step 3: Split the “Bill”
By bill, we don’t mean only the financial aspects. Caring for your parents should have limits and not take a toll on your mental and physical health. You don’t have to do it all alone. Split the responsibilities with your siblings or relatives. Lastly, don’t hesitate to outsource if needed.
Step 4: Provide Emotional Support
Older adults, especially those who don’t live with their loved ones, tend to experience isolation, boredom, and loneliness. Naturally, you’d want to spend as much time as you can with them. But squeezing in a little quality time with them can be a struggle if you live a hectic lifestyle.
The good news is that you don’t always have to be physically present to show them you care. You can support their emotional well-being by maintaining frequent contact. Give them gadgets and then teach them how those devices work. If you can, take them to your office and introduce them to your colleagues. Activities like these will keep them busy and reduce their worry.
Doing all these things guarantees peace of mind. When your days as a care provider are over, you’ll be glad to look back because you did what you could to keep your parents safe and happy until their final breath.