Facing the Facts that Parents Do Get Old and How to Handle the Situation
We might avoid thinking of this, but we have to face the fact that one of these days our parents will not be able to fend themselves, from climbing stairs, driving, changing their clothes, or even feeding themselves. This could be a dreadful thought for some of us, but we need to be ready to help our parents to make their last stages of their lives as comfortable and safe as possible, and for ourselves to be ready too. There are several things to consider that will help children about this inevitable future condition of their parents.
No children would like to talk about the end of the days of their parents, how much more 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. 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 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 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.
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.
Resource: Full Report