Your parents took care of you while you were growing up, so when they are aging, it’s your turn to care for them. It may be difficult for you to see your parents get old and struggle with their health. Remember that aging is part of everyone’s natural life, but do take this more difficult time day-by-day. Here are some tips when it comes to caring for your aging parents.
Helping With Their Finances
When it comes to caring for your aging parents, you may be surprised to see that they are struggling financially. Did you know that medical expenses account for 62% of all personal bankruptcies? This is a fact you may not have considered. As your parents age, so does their health. Unfortunately, this can mean your parents need to partake in many doctor’s appointments and even hospital visits when emergencies come up. These expenses can add up if your parents’ health coverage is subpar.
Depending on the kinds of jobs your parents had during their adult lives and the financial decisions they made, their savings or retirement funds can be lacking. If a big expense recently came up or your parents didn’t save their money efficiently, you may need to step in and help them figure out how to climb out of a financial hole or simply help them figure out ways to save their money for further down the line.
What Can They Sell?
You may need to assist with your parents’ finances on a bigger level. You can help them figure out what they could sell to help pay bills or simply save for their future if their savings aren’t looking good.
In 2019, the Mercedes Benz’s brand value was at 23.36 billion U.S. dollars. With this in mind, do your parents have a high-quality vehicle they could part with to earn a big chunk of money? While your father’s Mercedes Benz may be his pride and joy and your mother’s green Jeep may make her feel young and hip, it’s time to help your parents realize the reality of their financial situation. Offer to help sell their vehicles as well as buy more financially-cautious but reliable vehicles.
Aside from vehicles, your parents may need to consider downsizing if their finances aren’t quite in order. Moving out of one’s home is extremely difficult for some people, and your parents may even feel angry about it. However, if your parents need to develop their finances, if their health is declining, if one of your parents passes away, or if they can’t safely live without help, then it’s time to take that next step of selling their home as well as opening up the conversation of their living situation and the next steps you will all take as a family.
Taking Them Into Your Home
If your parents can live somewhat independently but still need some help, perhaps you will consider letting them move into your own home. Now, taking this responsibility is big. Not only do you need to make space for them, but your entire family will need time to adjust to one or two elderly grandparents in their home full-time.
First, you’ll need to find space for your parents to live in your home. A first-story bedroom would work, or building an in-law apartment attached to your home may be a better idea to allow for some additional privacy. If you plan on building, you will need to hire professional help as well as be sure your finances can handle a big project like this.
Second, you will need to make your home accessible. Are there ways to get into the house without too many stairs? Are there anti-slip rugs in place to prevent your parents from falling? Are your pets trained to not jump on them? Is there a first-floor bathroom? These are a few aspects you may need to think about in order to ensure your elderly parents’ safety and well-being.
Home Care Options
Most of those receiving home care in the U.S. are over 65 years old, with approximately 97% requiring assistance with bathing and 91% requiring assistance transferring in and out of bed. Are you ready for these responsibilities? You may need to consider home care options, such as a nurse or another form of a caretaker, to be sure your parents take daily medications, receive physical therapy, bathe, and get some exercise every day if you aren’t home. Even if you are working from home or stay home with your children, transferring these responsibilities to a professional is still a great idea to consider.
Options Outside of the Home
If you are not comfortable caring for your parents on these more intense levels or if their health is deteriorating at a rapid pace, consider options outside of the home. Although the conversation may be difficult, bring up the idea of moving your elderly parents into a nursing home or an assisted living facility. Not only will they receive around-the-clock care, but you will have some peace of mind knowing they are receiving professional care as well as getting social interaction on a daily basis with people their own ages.
Despite what your aging parents may be dealing with health-wise or financially, be sure to take care of yourself, too. It’s easy to get lost in giving full-time support to your elderly parents, but you and your family’s well-being is just as important. On the other hand, enjoy your time with your parents. As they’re aging, it’s important for your entire family to spend time and create meaningful memories together.