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. It would pain us to think of what will happen with our parents in the future, but we need to be strong and face reality so we can be prepared to help and give them a comfortable and safe conditions in the remaining days of their lives. There are several things to consider that will help children about this inevitable future condition of their parents.
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. 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 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 type of conversation among family members is not something that you can just think of out of thin air, but rather, it is suggested that you call a family discussion just to talk about the matters of feelings and finances. The most difficult part during the family meeting is the thought that you are discussing the days when you will not have your parents in your life sooner than later, and thus it is better to make the agenda as less intense as possible, like saying that the goal of the meeting is to know what dad and mom would need and their wishes as they retire, or something to that effect.
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 conduct the meeting where members of the family are in person and not doing the chat or email, so that you will get honest feedback from everybody. Other pointers would be to prepare questions ahead of time, take notes of important points for future references, and give each other undivided attention during conversations.