How to Take Care of Our Parents When They Reach Their Old Age
Generally, children avoid as long as possible to face the fact that their parents would someday will be unable to take care of themselves, like feeding themselves or climbing stairs, driving, and even changing of their clothes. This could be a dreadful thought for some of us, but we need to be ready to help our parents to make their last stages of their lives as comfortable and safe as possible, and for ourselves to be ready too. Here are the following suggestions that you can follow in order to face this unavoidable future condition of your parents.
No children would like to talk about the end of the days of their parents, how much more talking about it. Statistics showed that around 75% of adult children have not had a serious talk with their parents about situations when their parents get old, like living arrangements, their long-term care, inheritance, funeral wishes and so on. But, it is also a fact, that not only are the children who are avoiding this so-called big talk, but spouses with ages 50 and above also have not talk with each other about these matters.
This old age matter of parents could be the so-called elephant in the room, meaning as the most difficult yet very important topic that you and your family have to do and face. Unfortunately, no matter how we dread the day to come, our parents will be fine today and the following day could need badly our care, so the more the family will prepare ahead of this situation, the lesser the family will be stressed out.
A conversation with this topic is not something that you can just give a quick notice with your parents and siblings, but rather, prepare everybody by planning a family meeting with everybody and be ready to assess emotions and finances especially. It is very hard to talk about taking care and not having your parents in your life later, so when you arrange your meeting, have an agenda that is not very intensely worded, something like a talk about mom and dad’s needs and wishes as they get older, in that sort of wordings.
There are some guidelines from a professional source on what to prepare and conduct a family meeting with this kind of agenda. First suggestion is for everybody in the family personally present during the meeting, not chatting or sending emails, so that you have an honest feedback from each one. Other tips would be to have everybody prepare their questions and thoughts in advance, give full attention to the family member talking during discussion, and make sure to write in a notebook the important matters and actions that the family agreed upon.