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While no-one wants to think of their parent experiencing ailing health, it is important to be prepared should they experience increased fragility or a debilitating health condition.
As hard as it might be, it is essential to plan for your parents’ future and to make decisions as a family, so you will know what to do should the worst happen. Here are some top tips on how to prepare for an aging parent’s future.
Discuss Plans with Your Parents
While it might not be a comfortable conversation to have, you should discuss future plans with your parent(s). Try to involve your siblings in the conversation, too, as everyone should be on the same page, which can prevent conflict down the road.
During the conversation, you could discuss:
- Their future care needs
- Your parents’ wishes as they grow older
- Where they would like to live
- Their financial circumstances
- Any support they need now
Consider your family dynamic before you hold a meeting. If you can anticipate potential conflicts during the conversation, you can devise an appropriate response to keep the discussion as calm and productive as possible.
Assess the Needs of a Parent
If you are considering your parents’ future, the chances are you might have concerns about their health or wellbeing. For example, they might have lost weight, have ailing vision or experienced a recent fall. If so, you need to assess whether they have any immediate needs, such as mobility aids or additional care.
It is likely your parent will have strong feelings about how they want to live, which is why you should provide them with options and broach the subject carefully to prevent them from becoming defensive.
Review Senior Housing Options
While your parents might be sprightly and independent at the moment, they might one day need additional support. To ensure they enjoy a good quality of life, it is worthwhile discussing their different senior housing options, such as:
- A nursing home
- In-home care
- Memory care
- Assisted living
For example, a nursing home might be beneficial if your mum or dad requires a high-level of medical care. However, in-home care can provide your aging parents with extra support within the home, such as help with laundry and meal preparation, so they can maintain a level of independence. Read this helpful guide to in-home care with inhomecare.com.
Legal and Medical Planning
Encourage your parents to store all their important documents in a fireproof safe, which your family members can turn to in the event of an emergency.
The safe should include:
- A birth certificate
- Marriage certificate
- Military records
- Life insurance policy
- Financial assets information
Ensure your parents share the safe and key’s location, so family members can gain access to the documents when needed.
Also, if your parents have failed to write a will, encourage them to do so, which can prevent arguments from breaking out among your family members when they pass away, as it will clearly state the wishes for their property and assets.