Practical and Helpful Tips: Health

How to Take Care of Our Parents When They Reach Their Old Age

It is a fact of life, that some of us avoid to think or face reality, that one day our parents will grow old and cannot anymore take care of themselves from feeding themselves, or climbing stairs, or driving, and even how to change their clothes. This may be a painful thought of the future, but we need to face and prepare ourselves, and our parents, to give them a comfortable and safe condition in the last stages of their lives. There are some matters to consider that will help you face the situation when your parents get old.

Thinking of the days when lives of our parents would end is like a no-no thought for the most of us if not all of us, and less talking about it. It is said that most adults have not had a serious discussion with their parents about living arrangements, inheritance, long-term care, funeral wishes and so on. But, it is also a fact, that not only are the children who are avoiding this so-called big talk, but spouses with ages 50 and above also have not talk with each other about these matters.

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 fact that one day our parents are fine and the next day they need a great amount of care from us, and so the more prepared the family is, the lesser the stress the whole family will face.

This kind of discussion with the family cannot be done just out of the blue, but rather, it is advisable to have a family meeting with your parents and siblings to prepare everybody with the conditions, from financial to feelings. 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.

Sources have some tips on how to conduct and what to prepare during this kind of family meeting agenda. One is to have the meeting in person, not via chat or email, so you will have an honest reactions and opinions. Other suggestions would be to have ready each one’s questions in advance so there is no rush in getting thoughts, give full attention to each one talking during the conversation, and write all the important matters agreed upon for future references.