It can be very difficult to watch your parent grow old and reach the end stages of their life. But this can in fact be very special for you both, as you spend more quality time together and help your parent take care of some important things. While every situation is going to be a bit different, there are a few things everyone can do to help their aging parent towards the end of their life. Read on for a short guide.

Ensure Your Parent Has their Daily Needs Handled

The vast majority of people need at least a little extra help in their old age. Even if your parent seems like they’re functioning fine on their own, it’s important to take a closer look and assess what they need. In other cases, it may already be obvious that your parent is in need of care, whether health related or surrounding their daily tasks and routines. Whether you’ve decided to be your parent’s caretaker or you’re looking at bringing in extra help, it’s vital to take the time to make sure they have the daily help they need.

If you have decided to provide care yourself, you’re not alone. More than 65 million people, almost 30% of Americans, do the same, spending around 20 hours a week taking care of family members or friends who are elderly, ill, or disabled. There are various support networks in place, many of which are even connected with local hospitals and care facilities.

Discuss End-of-Life Care

In addition to making sure your parent has any daily or weekly healthcare needs taken care of, you’ll also want to discuss end-of-life planning. Somewhat surprisingly, only around 37% of American seniors have directions in place for what should happen in case of a sudden, debilitating illness or otherwise incapacitation. But if your parent does get to a point where they are unable to tell you or doctors what they want, knowing their plan ahead of time will ensure their desires are respected and adhered to.

The conversation can be a difficult one to have, so it may be easier with a doctor present or other healthcare professional who can explain common circumstances and options. Setting up a meeting or going to your parent’s next doctor appointment to discuss this can also help your parent feel more comfortable about asking questions and figuring out what they want to do.

Help Your Parent Sell or Renovate Their Home

Many elderly people choose to move into smaller homes that require less upkeep, meaning your parent may be looking to sell their home. Depending on when your parent purchased their home, the market is likely very different today. You can help them fix up their home for today’s buyers and navigate the market for the smoothest experience.

In other cases, your parent’s changing needs may mean that their current home will need some renovations. For example, many of today’s elderly Americans own standalone houses, about 42% of which have basements (32% are full-basements while 9.8 percent are partial). Basements can be challenging for an aging person to deal with, especially if unfinished. You can help by moving any laundry facilities or other important basement items upstairs, or by renovating the basement entirely so it’s brighter and without steep steps.

If you’re looking to hire a contractor, help your parent further by vetting and hiring a professional who is accustomed to working with elderly clients and won’t take advantage of them.

Assist with Estate Planning

All adults should have an active will or estate plan, and this only grows more important with age. If your parent does not have one in place or has not revised it in years, now’s the time to check. Set up a meeting with your parent and an attorney so your parent can make sure their last wishes will be handled properly.