February 19, 2021

How To Help Your Aging Parent Prepare For The Future

While no-one likes to think about their parents suffering from declining health, if they begin to experience increased vulnerability or a worsening health problem, it is important to be prepared.


As painful as it may be, preparing for the future of your parents and making decisions as a family is important because you need to know what to do should the worst happen. Here are some top tips on how to plan for the future of an elderly parent.

Talk to your parents about what they want. First and foremost, your parents’ wishes need to be respected. The only way that you can do that is to know what it is they want - and to do that, you have to talk to them.

Although it may not be a pleasant or comfortable discussion to have with your parents, it is an important one. Everyone should be on the same page to prevent any future conflicts, so if you have any siblings or other family members who should be part of the decision making process, get them involved at this stage - not when it may be too late.

Some of the things to talk about include:

How they want to be cared for in the future, should they need care?
Where do they want to live - do they want to stay at home and receive care, move into a care home, or live in an assisted living facility? The financial situation - how will housing and living costs be paid for? How will care be paid for? Any support that they need now.

Before you hold the meeting, think about the dynamics of your family. If conflicts and disagreements are likely to happen, have an appropriate response or suggestion in order to keep the conversation on target, calm and productive.

What are their needs?
If you are thinking about the future of your parents, the chances are that you will have questions about their health or welfare. They may, for example, have lost weight, have ailing sight, or have suffered a recent fall. You need to decide whether they have any urgent needs, such as mobility aids or personal care.

Financial and legal planning
It is essential to be able to access your parent’s important financial and legal documents,  quickly and easily. In the event of an emergency, you or another trusted family member needs to be able to get them, so a fireproof safe is a good bet. Some of the documents you may want them to put in include:

Birth certificates
Marriage certificate
Life insurance details
Information about their financial assets and debts
Military records

Make sure that your parents share the whereabouts of the safe and key so that family members can have access to the documents when necessary.

Also, if your parents have yet to write a will, urge them to do so, as it will clearly state their wishes for their property and possessions, which will prevent disputes from breaking out among your family members when they pass away.

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