When you are young, your parents are the ones taking care of you. It’s hard to imagine a time where your parents will need you to help take care of them. This isn’t just a hard concept for you to wrap your head around, though. It can be just as tough for your aging parents to deal with the fact that they need help. Here are few tips on how to help you to deal with aging parents.
Talking about getting older and death with your parents can be a tough subject. Not only is it uncomfortable for you, but it can also be just as uncomfortable for them as well. The longer you wait, however, the harder it can be. Starting the conversations early, while your parents are still able to make decisions for themselves, can be highly beneficial and can avoid a lot of confusion later on. You don’t have to sit down and have one huge conversation, either. You can have several small talks, which can help to ensure that all topics get covered and that you and your parents become more comfortable with the idea of talking about an important topic.
Discuss Their Wishes
Your parents probably have very specific ideas of what they want when they get older. Or, if they haven’t really thought about it, discussing what they want can get them thinking about it. Perhaps your parents would like to stay in their own home. Or maybe they would consider moving to an assisted living facility. Your parents also might have specific wishes about where they might like to be buried or they would prefer to be created and have their ashes spread in a special location. Make note of your parents’ wishes and write them down, keeping this information somewhere safe for later.
Treat Your Parents like Adults
As your parents get older, they might start to have difficulties performing tasks. They might also have issues mentally that can prevent them from thinking clearly or making good decisions. It is important through all of this that you treat your parents with respect. Instead of giving orders, give options. This way, they still feel like they are running their own lives. Giving their autonomy and letting them make as many decisions as they can is important. Your parents are still adults and should be treated as such.
At some point, your parents may not be able to manage their own finances anymore and your help becomes crucial. Getting power of attorney can be helpful, as it can help you to pay bills on your parents’ behalf. With power of attorney, you can also add yourself to your parents’ checking account so you can continue paying their bills indefinitely.
Considering Burial Costs
While no one likes to think about it, death is inevitable. The thought of losing your parents can be scary. What’s also scary is the cost of funeral expenses, including the service and burial. When your parents pass, getting stuck with these expenses can leave you with little money to support your own family. Burial insurance can be extremely helpful. Burial insurance is specifically designed to help cover funeral costs as well as the cost of burial or cremation. You can even tailor the plan in order to cover any debts that your parents might still have, such as credit cards, after their death. Burial insurance can provide you with peace of mind in what will be an emotional time.
Take Care of Yourself
While helping to take care of your parents is important, it is also important to take care of yourself. If you are taking care of your parents and your own family, you can be stretched very thin. This can wear on you physically, mentally, and emotionally. You may start to feel drained and your quality of life begins to suffer. While taking care of your parents, don’t forget to take care of yourself too. Ask nearby siblings to help share the load. Or, if you are the sole caregiver for your parents, don’t be ashamed to hire in-home help, even for just a few hours a day, one or two days a week. When you take care of yourself, you are able to provide your parents, and your family, much better care.
While the thought of having to take care of your parents as they age can be scary, remember that it’s a scary thought for them too. Working together with your parents and planning as much as you can will help you all to navigate this new territory together successfully and with as little financial issues as possible.