By : Megan Rothey
As your parent ages, you’ll likely find yourself picking up more and more responsibilities for them. However, managing this role-reversal can be challenging because often, it can feel like there is a fine line between taking over your parent’s life and neglecting some of their needs.
By following these five tips, you can rest assured you’re giving your parent the best care possible.
1. Organize Estate and Financial Resources
Unfortunately, typical health insurance doesn’t cover long-term nursing or assisted living care. Whether you care for them in your home or they reside at a care facility, it’s important to understand the financial costs that come along with caring for your parent. You’ll need to determine how you’ll pay for your parents care:
2. Know Your Parent’s Wants and Needs
Sit down and discuss with your parent what their plans are for the future. Ask questions like:
- Do you want to stay in your home?
- Want to move closer to the kids?
- Do you want to move to a more affordable area?
- Are you considering an independent living community?
- Would you rather live in an assisted living facility?
Be aware of their current health and physical limitations as you consider their ability to live independently. It’s also a good idea to consider your parent’s ability to safely operate a vehicle; don’t be afraid to have the “car key conversation” if you deem it necessary.
3. Have Frequent Family Meetings
Plan a family meeting with your siblings and your parents to discuss their future. Though it’s often a sensitive subject, talking with your parents about preparing for the future and the possibility of assisted living is a must. Discuss financial situations, personal feelings and encourage everyone to be involved. Consider having these meetings every few months to ensure everyone is on the same page.
4. Talk About the Options
Even if your parents are independent now, the possibility of them needing long-term care in the future isreal. Discuss the different housing options and keep reinforcing the fact that you want them to be as comfortable and independent as possible. Make a pros and cons list for:
5. Be There For Emotional Support
As your parent ages, it’s likely they will experience a grieving period – letting go of their home, their neighbors and their safe space can highlight the fact that they are entering their advanced and often fragile years. You and your siblings might also experience similar feelings. The most important thing is that you support each other through these difficult times. Forgive freely, love deeply and support fully.
Consider talking to your parent’s health care provider for more information on ways to better care for your aging parent, or to learn more about assisted living and nursing homes.