Is An Aging Parent
Depending on You?

It happens to us all. We get older, and with age comes a different set of challenges. As parents ourselves, it becomes very hard when we have to accept that our parents are aging and are beginning to struggle with life's events. We are then placed in the position of helping the aging parent, those whom we have relied on for so long, and it can be a tough switch for us to make.  

an aging parent can be enormously stressful for moms

The best thing to do is to plan ahead, and not wait for a crisis. You'll find that planning will give everyone piece of mind. Perhaps the best thing to do first is to make sure your parents (and yourselves!) have a will, so that their wishes can be respected. A living will is also an excellent idea. This is a guide to health care decision making, and should be discussed with your parents before a crisis occurs if possible, so that it is done in an unemotional way., and can help you prepare your wills and living wills at prices well below those charged by lawyers. May I suggest you use them to get your affairs in order right now?

It is important to encourage your parents' independence. People who live in their own homes generally have a better quality of life than those living in facilities. With home care services, seniors can now stay in their own homes longer, but can be brought meals if they are having trouble cooking for themselves, or have a cleaner come in to help with vacuuming etc. This is especially important to know about, since many families do not live in the same community these days, many times not even the same state or province, and this often causes feelings of guilt at not being there to help.

Take a look at this review on Coping with Elderly Parents - you are sure to find it useful.

Eldercare: How To Replace Challenges With Rewards This is an in-depth look at Eldercare, featuring over 14 hours of frequently asked questions, information, practical tips and advice from todays leading Eldercare Experts. Although this may seem a little on the pricey side ($197), this is actually great value for money, and will guide you through the aging process, and, if you buy it early enough, you can read ahead of time to find out what to expect, and how to deal with it as it arises. Very worthwhile.

Of course, there is also the decision of whether parents should move in with you. This is a very tough decision, and should involve the whole family. Everyone should agree what is best for everyone. Remember that if you have a strained relationship now with your parents, it will only become more strained once you are living under the same roof! Finances will be affected, and you may have to reduce your hours at work to take your parents to doctor's appointments, or tests if there is a medical problem. There will be less time for you and your family too, and your children may find this hard to adjust to.

If your parents are living a distance away, the worry and the guilt can be enormous, but you need to set up the necessary services, and then realize that these people will do a good job. Try to keep in touch as often as you can, but do not let them rule your life.

One major concern is older folks and their finances. With internet banking and automatic payments, life can be so much easier, but seniors may need help setting up the automatic payments. With their approval, you could then monitor their bills online to make sure all is well.

Getting power of attorney is a good thing to do too, so that when/if the time comes when you need to take over their finances, you can do so without a huge hassle.

Of course, while you are busy helping your parents, you also have to continue looking after your own family. This can be very exhausting, both physically and emotionally, so make sure you get everyone in the family to help, even if it only happens occasionally.

Something to consider, for your own future health, is to make a medical family tree. For more information, click here.


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