It’s not something any of us really want to think about. But at some point we all need to accept the fact that, as we’re getting older, so are our parents.
Once you come to that point you realise that there’s a lot to deal with, to understand and process emotionally, and to plan for.
Here are 3 of the things you might want to start thinking about as your parents get older.
Coping with complex emotions
When you start to process the idea of your parents getting old you’ll probably feel a whole range of emotions.
You might feel scared when you think about what the future holds. You might feel a sense of grief as you let go of the young and healthy people you’ve known them as your whole life. There could also be feelings of sadness, anger, frustration and guilt.
All of these emotions are completely normal, and will take time to process and work through. Be gentle with yourself, try and give yourself the time you need to deal with the way you’re feeling, and talk through it all with other people.
Our relationships with our parents changes at various points in our lives, and this is another big change that is worth talking about with them if you can.
Another useful thing to try and do is let go of the parts of the situation you can’t control, and focus on the things you can.
Think about the practicalities
One of the things you can have some control over is planning for the practicalities involved in your parents getting older.
Sit with them and talk about things like where they’ll live. Are they planning on staying in their current home or are they thinking about downsizing?
And while it can be a touchy subject, it’s worth discussing care options for the future. If you’re not in a position to provide care for them yourself then you’ll need to come up with a few ideas for alternative options.
Most people want to be able to stay in their own homes for as long as possible, and experts like Country Cousins can help with that. You can arrange for a live in carer to help take care of all their needs while enabling them to stay in their own home.
Focus on finances
Another big thing to be thinking about is the family’s finances.
Talk to your parents and make sure they have wills drawn up that they’re happy with, that cover all of their assets and belongings. It might be worth having a family discussion about the contents of their wills, to save any potential disputes and upsets further down the line.
It’s also a good idea to make sure your parents sort out a power of attorney. This means that if they become unable to make their own decisions about their finances and so on in the future, the named person will be able to make these decisions for them.
There is a huge amount to think about and process as our parents get older, but hopefully the points I’ve mentioned will help you work through them and let you then get on with enjoying as much time as possible with the people you love.
Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post