Aging Parents, Is Your Family Ready To Help?

 

We all get old. And usually by the time we are old enough to look forward to freedom with the kids moving out, we find out our aging parents need more help than ever. It might start off as an occasional drive somewhere, or asking a neighbor of theirs to check in on them every day.

Usually it escalates to the point they need much more than that. Certain situations will require some immediate action. Did perhaps your dad have a stroke and needs round the clock attention? Or maybe your mother has been diagnosed with dementia? What choices does everyone have? Not only you, but your entire family - including your parent.

Years ago it was an unspoken assumption that the children would take care of the parents. Mentally, physically, financially - whatever was needed. Today, that's not always possible. No matter how much we might love our parents, good intentions just aren't always enough. Your spouse and your children need to agree that maybe moving in Grandma is the only way to go. But, don't be surprised if you get some negativity in response to your plea.

You probably won't be the only one who needs to be actively involved her care. No one wants to or is able to be there all the time. Responsibilities need to be shared, and not everyone might be willing to make this type of sacrifice.

As you discuss this possible move with your family, also discuss the actual condition of your parent. Can she get up? Does she need special food that must be cooked at certain times? Is she incontinent? Does she need help bathing? If she needs all this extra attention, how will she get it?

Every member of your family needs to completely understand and agree with who does what going forward. This could be a permanent arrangement, not just a few weeks. Anyone who moves in who can't take care of themselves, is a burden. All the love and kindness in the world can wear thin quickly when you have the equivalent of another child living under your roof.

Plan ahead and be prepared. If your parents think that you or another sibling will just automatically take over when the time comes, they need to understand early on that this may not be a viable possibility. They need to know what their options are going to be so they and everyone can plan accordingly.

 

For More Information: Request a free analysis to determine what plan works best for you.