How to Take Care of Our Parents When They Reach Their Old Age
Generally, children avoid as long as possible to face the fact that their parents would someday will be unable to take care of themselves, like feeding themselves or climbing stairs, driving, and even changing of their clothes. This could be a dreadful thought for some of us, but we need to be ready to help our parents to make their last stages of their lives as comfortable and safe as possible, and for ourselves to be ready too. There are several things to consider that will help children about this inevitable future condition of their parents.
No children would like to talk about the end of the days of their parents, how much more talking about it. Statistics showed that around 75% of adult children have not had a serious talk with their parents about situations when their parents get old, like living arrangements, their long-term care, inheritance, funeral wishes and so on. Actually, it is not just the children who seem to be avoiding this talk but the parents themselves who are not even discussing it with each other.
This old age matter of parents could be the so-called elephant in the room, meaning as the most difficult yet very important topic that you and your family have to do and face. It is a sad reality that our parents could be fine today and all of a sudden the following day would need a great amount of care and understanding from us, so it is advisable to be more prepared so as to minimize the stressful condition of the whole family.
A conversation with this topic is not something that you can just give a quick notice with your parents and siblings, but rather, prepare everybody by planning a family meeting with everybody and be ready to assess emotions and finances especially. The hardest part during this family meeting is the thought and grief of knowing that your parents will not be around in your life soon, and so it is better to make the agenda as less emotional as possible, like making the objective of the meeting to know what mom and dad needs and wishes as they get older, etc.
There are some guidelines from a professional source on what to prepare and conduct a family meeting with this kind of agenda. One is to have the meeting in person, not via chat or email, so you will have an honest reactions and opinions. Other tips would be to have everybody prepare their questions and thoughts in advance, give full attention to the family member talking during discussion, and make sure to write in a notebook the important matters and actions that the family agreed upon.