Ways to Support Aging ParentsAs our parents enter their senior years they are often faced with the physical, mental, and financial changes which accompany aging and their circumstances.  In some cases, aging parents may need help from their adult children in order to manage these challenges.  Fortunately, there are numerous ways adult children can provide support for their senior parents.  With this loving family support, senior parents can have what they need to enjoy their retirement years.

A place to begin with helping your aging parents is to have an open and honest conversation about their current circumstances.  It is important to convey during this conversation that you want to know what they want regarding their living situation, care, and estate plan. In some cases, a parent might be in a physical or mental condition where they must receive care in a facility.  In others, it may be that they are in a position to decide if they would like to remain in the home.  You are an important support for your parent and want them to know you are there to help them achieve their desires.

By asking critical questions you can help shape a viable plan for your parents’ future.  For instance, if they are residing in the home how do they feel that is going?  Do they feel the need to have an in-home attendant?  Is their doctor recommending any particular treatments or types of care?  Do they have their estate plan in place?  Asking these and other important questions about their preferences and future will create a dialogue from which you can help your parents plan for the future.

Another significant way to assist aging parents is to discuss their long-term care planning options with them.  How your parents plan for their retirement years can be impacted greatly on how they intend to pay for their possible long-term care.  Long-term care is typically considered personal care services provided in the patient’s home, an assisted living facility, a hospice facility, a nursing home, or adult day care center.  The costs of this care can be expensive, and for many, the services must be paid for through a long-term care insurance policy or by Medicaid.  By helping your parents plan for this possibility, you will be helping to create security for their future care needs.

As our parents age, they may show signs that they need assistance with their health and independent living.   Some signs that your parent may need assistance can be that they are not maintaining their personal hygiene or keeping their home clean.  They may also demonstrate poor eating habits and weight loss signaling that they need help with their nutrition.  Forgetfulness may also be a sign that your parent is in need of greater care. Another consideration is their mobility.  Are they getting around physically without problems?  Are they able to safely drive their vehicle?  Keeping watch on these and other indications that your parent may need help in the home is a necessary support structure.

Attending to the needs of again parents can be challenging.  It can be very difficult to determine when you must assume decision-making responsibility and when you should allow your parent to remain independent.  To help support your parents as they enter this stage of the life, it is important to stay involved and remain aware of their preferences and circumstances.

To help make your parents make the best choices and to provide them with support, it is important to be informed about the options available to them. Our office has experienced attorneys who understand and can help you examine the choices and resources available to you and your family.  Please contact us online or by phone if we may be of assistance.

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