Facing the Facts that Parents Do Get Old and How to Handle the Situation
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 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. In fact, having an in-depth discussion with parents about matters like living arrangements when they retire, inheritance, their long-term care, funeral wishes and so on, are not done by around 75% of children. 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.
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. It is very hard to talk about taking care and not having your parents in your life later, so when you arrange your meeting, have an agenda that is not very intensely worded, something like a talk about mom and dad’s needs and wishes as they get older, in that sort of wordings.
In order for you to be able to handle this kind of family meeting, sources are offering some tips for you to consider. 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 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.
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