You love your parents. You love having them around, how much they help you. Especially if you have kids- and how they probably spoil them whenever they see them. You appreciate all the many things they have done for you throughout your life. You think they did a pretty good job raising you. Plus, there are many things they taught you to help you to be in the place you are today.
But just like everybody else, they are getting older. This means you and they are starting to think about where they are going to end up during the sunset of their lives.
It can be difficult to think about. But, the more you reflect on it the more you realize you probably want to be the ones to help them and take care of them in these twilight years.
At the same time, you have no idea where to even begin to start preparing for that to happen.
Here are five ways to prepare to take care of your elderly parents and have them feeling good about moving in with you and have you feeling good about taking care of them.
Have an open conversation
One of the most important parts of starting this process or even just preparing for it is having an open and honest conversation with your parents about their wants and needs when It comes to this situation.
The last thing you want them to feel is like they will be this big burden or that they will lose all of their independence.
Discuss when they think they would feel like it’s a good time for them to move in, the rooming situation, what you might want them to contribute to the household, and what they would expect from the living situation as well.
It’s probably a good idea to have it written down as well so you can all remember when the time arises.
Get all the info
It’s one thing to think about having your parents with you and taking care of them but a whole other thing when it’s actually happening.
One way to get all the information and advice that you will probably need is to read and talk to those who have experienced with this.
Getting recommendations and advice can really help you to understand the reality and what you should and your parents can look forward to.
Along with reading and talking to those who are experienced in this subject, it’s also important to ask them a lot of questions. This will help you assess and better understand what you and your parents may need.
Ask questions such as:
- “Will they need home health care?”
- “Should I hire a nurse if there are more serious health issues that I can’t necessarily focus all my attention on?”
And your parents may ask questions such as:
- “How can I still feel independent when I’m now dependent on my children?”
- “What should I do if I’m not physically able to care for myself but I don’t necessarily want my children being the ones having to take care of me all day every day?”
Get the finances in order
As much as it’s not very fun to have conversations with your parents about their money it is an important topic to bring up. It should be discussed early on.Especially before they become unable to do so and you are left in charge of trying to figure it all out.
Ask them specific questions. What do they want to do? What assets do they have? How will they want them all taken care of?
Discuss which of you or any family member they might want to add as beneficiaries. Consider who should be appointed a power of attorney.
Be open and honest with each other
This isn’t easy for either of you to think or plan for. Make sure to keep an open line of communication, and have empathy for how each person is feeling.
For children, help them to understand you aren’t trying to control their life, or take away their independence. Explain that you want to make sure they are taken care of and safe.
Parents, try to understand that your children have your best interest at heart. You can still be independent, even while under their roof.