Are you trying to figure out how to take care of your parents in their old age? Read this article to learn more about taking care of elderly parents.
One of the hardest things you can face in life is the harsh realization that your parents are getting older. There’s a good chance that caring for them will eventually become your responsibility. 6% of adult children are caring for an elderly parent, and it’s estimated that 17 percent will become a caregiver for a parent at some point during their life.
The sooner you can prepare for this transition, the better. Discussing plans with your parents and family members can ease the worry and stress. Here are three key things you should do to take care of your parents in their old age.
- Talk About it
This may be the most difficult step as it involves confronting your loved ones about a topic that can be unpleasant to discuss. Yet you and your family need to work out what should happen if your parent finds themselves unable to care for themselves.
Will one of you come and live with them, or will you and your siblings take turns? Should you look into nursing homes?
Other things to consider are how comfortable you would be bathing your parent and helping them groom and dress themselves. Some people choose to hire home health care aides to assist with this.
Be sure to take your parent’s wishes into consideration when making these decisions.
- Discuss Finances
This is another tricky topic, but the reality is that elder care can be very expensive. Certain programs such as Medicare will cover some qualifying expenses such as wheelchairs and walkers, while websites such as PricePro Pharmacy offers affordable prescription prices.
However, many families are left to deal with the cost of caring for an elderly parent on their own. You’ll need to determine how much income your parent receives every month including social security and any pensions. Is there enough to cover unexpected medical bills and needed equipment?
You and your siblings may also need to discuss sharing a joint bank account with your parent to help them pay their bills. You may also need to use the power of attorney in case they are mentally unable to handle their finances.
- Make Aging in Place Easier
If your parent is able to stay in their home and age in place, you’ll need to make sure the home is updated for their safety. This may mean having guardrails or a stairlift installed, getting rid of throw rugs that can easily cause falls, and buying furniture that is easy to get up from.
A certified aging-in-place specialist can review your parent’s home and make recommendations and modifications that keep the home safer and easier to navigate.
Know How to Take Care of Your Parents in Their Old Age
Knowing how to take care of your parents in their old age means keeping their best interests in mind while keeping them as comfortable as possible. It’s a challenging balance, but can also be extremely rewarding. Many adult children who cared for an elderly loved one say they would do it all over again if they had the choice.
If you need to learn how to save some extra money to help care for your aging parent, check out our Wealth & Skills posts.