Some Facts to Be Aware Of When Parents are Getting Old
Generally, children avoid as long as possible to face the fact that their parents would someday will be unable to take care of themselves, like feeding themselves or climbing stairs, driving, and even changing of their clothes. 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. Here are the following suggestions that you can follow in order to face this unavoidable future condition of your parents.
It is undeniable that most, if not all of us, do not want to think about the end of the lives of our parents, much less talk 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. 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.
The agenda about parents getting old is considered as the elephant in the room yet the most difficult subject matter that a family would have to talk about and have to face. 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 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 most difficult part during the family meeting is the thought that you are discussing the days when you will not have your parents in your life sooner than later, and thus it is better to make the agenda as less intense as possible, like saying that the goal of the meeting is to know what dad and mom would need and their wishes as they retire, or something to that effect.
There are some guidelines from a professional source on what to prepare and conduct a family meeting with this kind of agenda. First suggestion is for everybody in the family personally present during the meeting, not chatting or sending emails, so that you have an honest feedback from each one. 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.