Some Facts to Be Aware Of When Parents are Getting Old
It is a fact of life, that some of us avoid to think or face reality, that one day our parents will grow old and cannot anymore take care of themselves from feeding themselves, or climbing stairs, or driving, and even how to change their clothes. It would pain us to think of what will happen with our parents in the future, but we need to be strong and face reality so we can be prepared to help and give them a comfortable and safe conditions in the remaining days of their lives. There are some matters to consider that will help you face the situation when your parents get old.
No children would like to talk about the end of the days of their parents, how much more talking about it. Statistics showed that around 75% of adult children have not had a serious talk with their parents about situations when their parents get old, like living arrangements, their long-term care, inheritance, funeral wishes and so on. Actually, it is not just the children who seem to be avoiding this talk but the parents themselves who are not even discussing it with each other.
Considered as the most emotional and very important topic of discussion in a family, or as others would say the elephant in the room, this matter about parents reaching their old age has to be faced and tackled. 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.
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. 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.
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 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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