The natural cycle starts out with the children relying on their parents for everything. However, as people age, the tables begin getting reversed. Parents become dependent as they age, and children must make decisions about care. Planning is a big part that will minimize stress, worries and hurt feelings as well as allowing things to fall into place naturally as the time comes for further assistance in their lives.
A Quick Guide to Helping Aging Parents by Planning Ahead
To begin, you may want to set up a meeting with all your siblings. Meetings like this can be a great way to come to a consensus about a course of action and make sure that everyone is on the same page. If one of your siblings is particularly stubborn, you may have to have this meeting multiple times or simply write a letter to them and hand it off.
At the meeting, you should map out where your parents stand,
- Health wise
- Home (Where they will dwell)
- How and who can care for them, and
- How will each family member play a part in the care
Planning for Senior Housing and Care
In addition to helping your parents make decisions about how they are going to take care of themselves, you will want to help them make decisions about senior housing and care. This may include assisted living and long-term care, or will they be staying in your home or the home of a sibling.
In the case of assisted living, you will want to make sure that you have a good understanding of the costs of the home and the services you are getting. There are multiple options out there, ranging from independent living with limited care to full-on 24-hour nursing care. Many people must consider assisted living because they cannot make it on their own anymore, or their children don’t live in the same area and cannot help them out. If you have a similar situation, you will want to be sure that you can financially afford it.
Talk About End-of-Life Care
Many people do not want to think about this topic, but the truth is that passing away in a hospital is not an option for them. If your parents are afraid of this possibility, you will want to make sure that you discuss what their preferences are. In addition to discussing things like Living wills, Advance Directives, Health Care Power of Attorney, “do not resuscitate” orders, you will also want to talk about funeral plans, as medical equipment, and insurances as well as funeral arrangements which can become costly.
The Best Care Plan For Your Parents
If your parents have made the decision that it would be best for them to get help from one of their children, you will want to work with them to create a care plan that will help them stay as healthy for as long as possible.