26 Jan Top Tips to Plan for Your Aging Parents Future
One of the most difficult conversations that you will need to have with your aging parents throughout their retirement is about the future. Though no matter how difficult this conversation may be, it is vital that you can plan for what might happen as a family to ensure that you are prepared for anything that comes your way. If you are struggling to do this, here are some top tips to help you comprehensively plan for your parent’s future, so they can have the most comfortable lives possible, and you do not have to worry for them.
1. Look at Assisted Living Facilities
Although you might believe that your parents will always be healthy enough to live at home, this is not always the case. There are many common health conditions such as dementia, which may leave your parents needing round-the-clock care, as well as general ill health and frailty as they start to show the signs of aging. To make sure that you know that your parents are well-looked after when the time comes, you should consider researching assisted living facilities now. This will allow you to relax in knowing that both you and your loved one are happy with the home you have chosen for them. For instance, if you are looking for assisted living Fort Lauderdale, Belmont Village can offer your parents a range of care options, and you can rest in the knowledge that they are being cared for.
2. Sort Their Finances
Many adult children leave their parents to handle their finances for fear of taking over or looking greedy when it comes to their eventual passing. However, helping your parents sort their finances out now can ensure that they will be able to pay for all of the medical care they may need and ensure that they have enough money to live on until the end of their lives. Sorting these finances out early, such as looking at the pension schemes and organizing the assets they have to their name, will ensure that they do not come unstuck later and enable them to set a budget around their financial situation.
3. Create a Will
Although it is easy to dismiss probate as something that you do not want to think about or discuss with your parents, helping them create a will and knowing what is inside of it is important if they pass away suddenly and unexpectedly, then you can help them to make a will by contacting a solicitor or encouraging them to complete a DIY will-making kit. You should always make sure that DIY wills are legally valid, though. Knowing what is inside of the will can be important so that you can make sure that their wishes are carried out on their death and that no forgery or other issues occur.
4. Discuss Care with the Family
Before your parents get old or infirm enough to need extra help, you should sit down with your family to discuss what will happen if they need extra care. For instance, you might decide to split it between you, have them move into one family member’s home, or you might all decide to donate an equal sum so that you can afford carers for them, such as day nurses. Having this discussion now can prevent people from failing to pull their weight when needed and make sure that all of your family knows their responsibilities if a parent becomes unable to look after themselves.
5. Consider Downsizing
When your parents start to get older, it is paramount that you discuss whether their living situation is still suitable. Even if they do not need residential care, they may struggle to handle the stairs or prefer to have a smaller home that will be easier to manage. Not only this but if you are considering downsizing, you could take advantage of equity release, which can help you pay for your parents’ care by taking advantage of the money they have put into their property.
6. Take Out Health Insurance
However, older people are much more likely to fall ill than younger people, so it is more vital than ever that your parents have taken out medical insurance. Not all health insurance plans may cover pre-existing conditions or care for the elderly, though, and so it is important that you can find a company that caters to the coverage that both you and your parents need. This will ensure that you know that they will always get the care that they need if they fall ill.
7. Make Medical Decisions
When your loved one falls ill, they may not always be able to make medical decisions for themselves, such as if they are unconscious. You should then visit a solicitor with them to draw up a Health Directive that can contain advance instructions on what their wishes are if they become seriously ill. This can include whether they are willing to be treated and whether they should be kept on life support or not. This can prevent you from having to make difficult decisions at the moment.
8. Make Household Changes
Lastly, you should also help your parents to make any household changes that can make them more comfortable as they get older. Although they might be sprightly now, they may soon struggle with the stairs or worry about using the shower, which can be a risk area for falls. You should then consider whether it is the best time to install devices such as a stairlift, or a shower seat or rail, which can help support them in independent living and enable them to age in place for as long as possible.
Planning for your parent’s future can be difficult, especially if you are an only child or if your parents are unwilling to discuss the matter. However, by planning, you can take the stress out of your loved one’s final years and ensure that they can age in peace.
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Last Updated on January 26, 2021 by Marie Benz MD FAAD