Facing the Facts that Parents Do Get Old and How to Handle the Situation
Generally, children avoid as long as possible to face the fact that their parents would someday will be unable to take care of themselves, like feeding themselves or climbing stairs, driving, and even changing of their clothes. This could be a dreadful thought for some of us, but we need to be ready to help our parents to make their last stages of their lives as comfortable and safe as possible, and for ourselves to be ready too. There are some matters to consider that will help you face the situation when your parents get old.
No children would like to talk about the end of the days of their parents, how much more talking about it. It is said that most adults have not had a serious discussion with their parents about living arrangements, inheritance, long-term care, funeral wishes and so on. Another reality is that not only the adult children are shunning away this very important issues, but also parents themselves like those with ages 50 and above who are still refusing to talk about these matters.
This old age matter of parents could be the so-called elephant in the room, meaning as the most difficult yet very important topic that you and your family have to do and face. Unfortunately, no matter how we dread the day to come, our parents will be fine today and the following day could need badly our care, so the more the family will prepare ahead of this situation, the lesser the family will be stressed out.
This type of conversation among family members is not something that you can just think of out of thin air, but rather, it is suggested that you call a family discussion just to talk about the matters of feelings and finances. The hardest part during this family meeting is the thought and grief of knowing that your parents will not be around in your life soon, and so it is better to make the agenda as less emotional as possible, like making the objective of the meeting to know what mom and dad needs and wishes as they get older, etc.
There are some guidelines from a professional source on what to prepare and conduct a family meeting with this kind of agenda. One is to have the meeting in person, not via chat or email, so you will have an honest reactions and opinions. Other suggestions would be to have ready each one’s questions in advance so there is no rush in getting thoughts, give full attention to each one talking during the conversation, and write all the important matters agreed upon for future references.