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 may be a painful thought of the future, but we need to face and prepare ourselves, and our parents, to give them a comfortable and safe condition in the last stages of their lives. There are several things to consider that will help children about this inevitable future condition of their parents.
It is undeniable that most, if not all of us, do not want to think about the end of the lives of our parents, much less talk about it. In fact, having an in-depth discussion with parents about matters like living arrangements when they retire, inheritance, their long-term care, funeral wishes and so on, are not done by around 75% of children. 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.
The agenda about parents getting old is considered as the elephant in the room yet the most difficult subject matter that a family would have to talk about and have to face. 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.
This type of conversation among family members is not something that you can just think of out of thin air, but rather, it is suggested that you call a family discussion just to talk about the matters of feelings and finances. The most difficult part during the family meeting is the thought that you are discussing the days when you will not have your parents in your life sooner than later, and thus it is better to make the agenda as less intense as possible, like saying that the goal of the meeting is to know what dad and mom would need and their wishes as they retire, or something to that effect.
Sources have some tips on how to conduct and what to prepare during this kind of family meeting agenda. One is to have the meeting in person, not via chat or email, so you will have an honest reactions and opinions. 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.