How to Take Care of Our Parents When They Reach Their Old Age
It is a fact of life, that some of us avoid to think or face reality, that one day our parents will grow old and cannot anymore take care of themselves from feeding themselves, or climbing stairs, or driving, and even how to change 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. There are several things to consider that will help children about this inevitable future condition of their parents.
Thinking of the days when lives of our parents would end is like a no-no thought for the most of us if not all of us, and less 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. Another reality is that not only the adult children are shunning away this very important issues, but also parents themselves like those with ages 50 and above who are still refusing to talk about these matters.
Considered as the most emotional and very important topic of discussion in a family, or as others would say the elephant in the room, this matter about parents reaching their old age has to be faced and tackled. It is a sad fact that one day our parents are fine and the next day they need a great amount of care from us, and so the more prepared the family is, the lesser the stress the whole family will face.
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. The hardest part during this family meeting is the thought and grief of knowing that your parents will not be around in your life soon, and so it is better to make the agenda as less emotional as possible, like making the objective of the meeting to know what mom and dad needs and wishes as they get older, etc.
In order for you to be able to handle this kind of family meeting, sources are offering some tips for you to consider. 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 pointers would be to prepare questions ahead of time, take notes of important points for future references, and give each other undivided attention during conversations.