No one wants to think about our parents getting old and suffering from ailing health. However, we must be prepared for the event of them experiencing a debilitating health condition or increased fragility, as if or when the time comes, you may need some extra support. These decisions need to be discussed with the whole family, so everyone knows what to do should the worst happen. Here are some helpful tips on how to prepare for an ageing parent’s future.
Discuss Plans with Your Parents
It is never going to be an easy or a comfortable conversation to have, but it is an important one, nevertheless. It involves your parents, so it is only right that while they are fully able to have the discussion, you talk about the plans with your parent(s). If you have siblings, try to involve them in the discussion as well, as everyone needs to be on the same page to avoid any conflict further down the road. Some things to talk about include:
- Their future care needs
- Your parents’ wishes as they grow older
- Where they would like to live
- Their financial circumstances
- Any support they need now
How this discussion will go wholly depends on your family dynamic, so try to anticipate any triggers for potential conflicts during the conversation. This way, you can devise an appropriate response beforehand to try to keep the discussion as calm and as productive as possible.
Assess the Needs of a Parent
If you are thinking about your parent’s future, you are probably thinking about their health and/or wellbeing and may have some concerns. Maybe they have lost weight recently, have experienced falls, or have failing vision or hearing. If so, you need to assess whether they have any immediate needs, such as mobility aids or additional and specialist care.
Most people will have strong feelings about how they want to live, which is why you should provide your parents with options and broach the subject carefully to prevent them from becoming defensive.
Review Senior Housing OptionsWhile your parents might be sprightly and independent at the moment, they might one day need additional support. To ensure they enjoy a good quality of life, it is worthwhile discussing their different senior housing options, such as:
- A nursing home
- In-home care
- Memory care
- Assisted living
For example, a nursing home might be beneficial if your mum or dad requires a high level of medical care. Assisted living, such as The Parke assisted living facility allows them to retain independence as much as possible. However, in-home care can provide your ageing parents with extra support within the home, such as help with laundry and meal preparation so that they can maintain a level of independence.
Legal and Medical Planning
Encourage your parents to store all their essential documents in a fireproof safe, which your family members can turn to in the event of an emergency.
The safe should include:
- A birth certificate
- Marriage certificate
- Military records
- Life insurance policy
- Financial assets information
Ensure your parents share the safe and key’s location, so family members can gain access to the documents when needed.
Also, if your parents have failed to write a will, encourage them to do so, which can prevent arguments from breaking out among your family members when they pass away, as it will clearly state the wishes for their property and assets.