Some Facts to Be Aware Of When Parents are Getting Old
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 several things to consider that will help children about this inevitable future condition of their parents.
It is undeniable that most, if not all of us, do not want to think about the end of the lives of our parents, much less talk 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. Another reality is that not only the adult children are shunning away this very important issues, but also parents themselves like those with ages 50 and above who are still refusing to talk about these matters.
The agenda about parents getting old is considered as the elephant in the room yet the most difficult subject matter that a family would have to talk about and have to face. Unfortunately, no matter how we dread the day to come, our parents will be fine today and the following day could need badly our care, so the more the family will prepare ahead of this situation, the lesser the family will be stressed out.
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.