As your parents age, they may require more and more care from you over time. Instead of waiting until your parents absolutely do need care to figure out what to do, it’s smart to have a plan in place. Make sure to include these three things as you think about what comes next!
Have the Conversation With Them
As your parents become more dependent on you for care, you need to have a conversation with them. Talking about aging may be uncomfortable, but it’s important to be on the same page. As you have the conversation with them, practice empathy. They may begin to experience loss as they are no longer able to do what they used to and have to rely on others. Start this conversation early to avoid making decisions in the moment. Give them input on decision making so they can continue to have some feeling of control.
There are many options for end-of-life care. There is hospice, palliative care, home-based care, hospital-based care, and long-term care facilities. You need to determine what your parents need, or what they want at the end of their life. If they are chronically ill and don’t want any more treatment, then hospital care may not be the right option. If going to a long-term care facility is the right option, you need to make sure to do extensive research. High employee turnover is a sign of poor care quality at the facility.
Last, as your parents become more dependent on you, you should think about their finances. Caring for your parents, just as caring for a child, costs money. You should estimate the costs so you can prepare early, and it won’t be as much of a strain. Your parents may need medical care, and will definitely have costs associated with their housing situation, whether that is with you or assisted living (which will be much more expensive). You should talk about finances with them to know how much they have and if they can afford care. There are also programs available like Medicaid and others that can help with long term care.
Your parents, as they age, may become more dependent on you. Because of this, you should make sure that you are on the same page with what they may need and want. Involve them in any decision making and help them continue to feel loved.
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