As our parents get older, taking on the role of parent instead of child to our parents has the real potential to become a reality. The aging of our parents is a hard subject to talk about, and an even easier one to avoid. The best thing to do, though, is to discuss the future that your parents want ahead of time and ensure that everyone is prepared for the road ahead. Time goes by quickly, the last thing you want is to be emotionally and financially unprepared. It is extremely important that you do everything in your power to make your parents as comfortable as possible in their remaining years.
There are many ways to do this, but you will want to keep these five points in mind:
- Know what your parents need. This is something that can change on a day-to-day basis, but there are some needs that will stay the same. It could be that their diet is very specific because of their cholesterol levels, or it could be that they need daily exercise for their joints, or maybe they are no longer able to take care of themselves in their own home. It could be as small as diet to as big as moving to an assisted living facility, but keeping your parent’s needs in mind should be your priority.
- After you have identified what your parents need, it is time to act. Do not procrastinate with this step. The quicker you act, the healthier your parents will be in the long run. Do not hesitate to take control of the wheel, but also make sure to seek medical advice from your parent’s physician.
- Put together a financial plan that protects your parents both now and in the future. There are many expenses that come along with growing older. How you will pay for long-term care may be something you want to talk about now. Although most of us wait until a crisis to start talking, knowing your options early will help your family understand what it needs to do to get through this difficult process.
- If you have not already had this conversation, talk with your parents about their estate planning. What is it? When was it last updated? Who are the decision makers? This is a crucial step in this process. If your parents have not already worked with an attorney to create their estate planning, you need to make this a priority. Estate planning not only protects your parent’s belongings but respects their desires. Without estate planning, there is no evidence of your parents’ wishes for their assets or health care choices.
- During this process, it can be difficult to stay true to your family values. Though this is a tough course, make sure you stay united as a family. Do not forget to love one another through every step. Find time to spend with one another without discussing estate planning; after all, there is a time and a place for everything.
Do not neglect the importance of caring for your aging parents. Everyone copes in different ways, but by following these five steps you and your parents will both be in good hands physically and emotionally. Don’t wait to contact us to schedule a meeting with Allen on this important planning you and your parents need.