It might not be something you want to think about, but even your parents are going to get old one day. For some people, it might be decades away, but for others, it’s just around the corner. Being prepared for the time when they can no longer take care of themselves is crucial, and talking to your parents about their preferences means you won’t be left making agonizing decisions. The best decisions are never made under pressure, so here are some of the ways you can prepare for your parent’s future.
Hold a Family Meeting
It’s not always an easy thing to do, but you’re going to have to sit your parents down and talk with them about their future. Include all members of the family as this will reduce the chances of you disagreeing in the future about your parents care. After all, you’re holding the meeting because you want to talk about the care needs and wishes of your parents as they get older. So, ask them where they’d like to live as they get older. How are they planning to pay for their care? Are they happy with their current accommodation, or is there something you can do to make their life easier? It might be something as simple as installing a home lift to help them get upstairs. If this is the case, you can find out more here.
What are Your Parents’ Needs?
You might have called the family meeting because you’ve already got concerns about your parents’ situation so now’s your opportunity to raise these with the rest of the family. Your parents have probably got their own ideas about where they want to live, but sometimes it’s not possible. First, however, you have to listen to what they’ve got to say, with the goal to respect their wishes if at all possible. If there is an issue that can’t be overcome, try to offer them a range of options.
You also need to be prepared for your parents to get very defensive about their situation. Put yourself in their shoes and think about how you’d feel if your family were saying you weren’t safe to be living on your own at home. Humans tend to be very independent creatures, and this doesn’t change just because you’re old.
What are Their Options?
Even if your parents are fit and healthy, it’s highly likely there will come a time when their health deteriorates, often very rapidly. It helps if you know what their options are when the time comes. There is a range of different care available. For example, assisted living is a good option if a parent can’t live entirely independently but doesn’t need constant medical care. If your parent develops a form of dementia or Alzheimer’s, there are particular types of assisted living. A nursing home is another option if medical attention is required, or there’s in-home care.
One final option worth mentioning is to care for a parent in your own home and be their primary caregiver. This does require a considerable amount of emotional, physical and financial strength, but it can be very rewarding.