January 10, 2019
If you’re navigating the need to provide more support for your aging parent, you’re not alone. According to the National Institutes of Health, the world’s older population has been growing at an unprecedented rate. As a result, the number of adult children helping care for or make important decisions with their aging parents continues to increase.
As your loved one ages, it’s important to set up a system of support early. Even if the conversation may be difficult at first, you should discuss matters that could affect your parent’s quality of life moving forward––like assistance with daily tasks, finances, health, and long-term care.
Use these five steps to make a plan for giving your aging parent the support that best fits his or her needs:
Schedule a Family Meeting
If you’re going to support your aging loved one, the first step is to get everyone at the table––including your parent and any siblings. Start by asking your parent his or her concerns and discussing where help is needed. Let siblings share, as they may have noticed different areas of concern than you. If your family decides it is time for mom or dad to move to a place where more support is available, the transition will be easier if you’ve all made the decision together.
Get Health Concerns in Check
An aging parent’s health is often a top concern for adult children. Get involved by knowing who his or her doctors are, when appointments are, and what medications are taken. If you’ve noticed your parent complaining about health issues, be his or her advocate to help get the right care—whether its changes to medication doses or a move to an assisted living facility that provides the kind of care needed.
Review Financial Needs
You may feel uncomfortable bringing up the topic of finances, and your parent may be hesitant to share, but an understanding of your loved one’s financial situation can help you make better decisions about his or her care. If you’re unsure of how to help, it may be beneficial to work with a certified financial planner. A financial planner can guide the conversation and provide an outside perspective on how to best support your loved one’s financial needs.
Keep Communication Open
While the big conversations about topics like health and finances are important, it’s also essential that you keep the conversation going. Continue to check in and reassess your loved one’s situation. Show your support for everyday tasks and concerns as well. By communicating often with your parent and others who care for him or her, you’ll be able to recognize issues earlier and help find the right solution.
Ask for Help When Needed
Caring for an aging parent can be difficult to navigate, and you may need support too. Take the time to learn about programs offered for seniors in your area and research the levels of care provided by assisted living communities. It is OK to ask for help when you are no longer able to provide all of the care and support your parent needs.
We’re here to help you navigate the important decisions about providing support for your aging parent. Call (972) 726-7575 and see how we may be able to help.