You have an aging parent who will need your help soon. Most family members are beginning to see the handwriting on the wall. You may not all agree, but the inevitability is clear, and you all know that you need to start planning for a change. Be comforted by the fact that thousands of adult children are facing the same challenges you are, and they are all flummoxed and overwhelmed by the situation. And no one is doing it perfectly. We all want to do the right thing for our parents but many are often naive about what is the perfect set of changes that will be needed. And, of course, each family has a unique set of ‘family dynamics’, which must be navigated as respectfully as possible. There is no perfect road map for this journey, but there is a lot of support available to you from those who have gone before!
Did your parents, at some point, make you promise that you would never ‘put me in a home’? At that time, did you have any idea what old age would really look like for them? Probably not, but the fog is clearing and you’re getting the picture now. Where to start? There are two ways to go: wait until there is a medical emergency or crisis, a bad fall happens or forgetfulness turns to dementia OR, knowing things will change, start to plan now and get some ducks in a row!
It is a step-by-step process, as people age gradually, not overnight. When we view it that way, we can lessen the overwhelm. If you and your family have created a plan and are working it, you can ‘chunk down’ the actual process. You don’t know exactly when the day will come when the family must step in and help mom or dad be healthier, safer and surrounded by caring, loving people. You may wonder, how can I create a plan if I don’t know what will happen and when? In other blogs, I have listed all the legal and medical documents, and a complete list of to-do’s. See <Checklist for Adult Children of Elderly People>.
What’s in a plan? Obtain legal and medical documents, visit medical providers and understand diagnoses, choose one (or two) adult children to be the power of attorney, successor trustee or ‘the one in charge’, share loved ones wishes with everyone, understand the financial resources, discuss the timing of a move, analyze costs of various options, visit senior living communities, and allocate responsibilities to the adult children. This is time consuming but time well spent. You will have so much accomplished when the day comes! You will be so happy you did the preparation.
But that’s not all you can attend to. The most important of all is maintaining your family relationships. Long before there is any medical event or other breakdown in your parents’ lives, start having the conversations with them and your siblings about what they all want, how they can be a part of this process, how they feel, and what’s important to them. Of course, your relationship with your parents is the most important and if you remember that your commitment is to respect their wishes AND keep them safe from unnecessary harm, together you can forge a plan that includes options that address everyone’s concerns.
That’s where Mom’s New Pad comes in. With a little guidance from experienced professionals, your journey will go more smoothly. At Mom’s New Pad, we have respect and admiration for older adults, and after working with hundreds of families in these situations, we know that how deeply you want your loved ones to have the best aging experience possible. We can help with presenting options, calculating costs, choosing senior living or in-home care, interpreting the consequences of each decision, and providing resources including dozens of other professionals, if needed. Choose soon to suffer this alone, or call Mom’s New Pad and save yourself time and aggravation!
It’s just a phone call to the support you need! We’re ready. Are you?
ALWAYS feel free to call Millie at 415-761-1550!