Aging Parents Checklist: How to Ensure a Smooth Transition for Mom and Dad
If you have an aging parent, you know that there are a lot of responsibilities to balance — and sometimes hard decisions to make. But you can offset some of the stress by taking concrete steps along the way. All you need to do is make a plan and communicate with everyone involved.
Keep reading to learn about an aging parents checklist that will ensure a smooth transition for your loved ones!
Talk with Family Members
A good first step is to talk with your family members — including your parents. What wishes do your parents have as they age? Where do they want to live?
These conversations are never anyone’s favorite, but they are important. You can gather perspectives on what options are best for your parents. In a separate conversation, you can find out the extent to which your siblings or other family members are willing to help with caregiving and support down the road.
Know Your Limits as a Caretaker
Caring for aging parents is a huge commitment. If you choose to take on the responsibilities yourself, you may need to quit your job or reduce your hours — or move to be closer. Depending on your financial situation, this might not be possible.
Set limits for yourself to avoid financial problems or burnout. You may be better off paying for in-home care if your parents would like to continue living independently.
Investigate Living Accommodations for Aging Parents
If your parents live in the same home that you grew up in, it’s probably time to downsize. Your parents may want a place with lower square footage, but it’s good to plan for the longterm, too. A site such as findcontinuingcare.com can provide strong suggestions for assisted living facilities near you.
Consider Finances and Insurance
Take a look at your parents’ financial situation, too. What will their insurance plan cover, and what will need to be paid out of pocket? Do they have an active portfolio or retirement account?
Work with your parents to understand what they can afford given their retirement savings, pensions, or other sources of money. And find out if they have paid into Medicare, which may afford them some benefits.
Attend to Legal Matters
Your parents need to have their living will and trust mapped out. This is a critical step and will ward off stress and tension in the future. Ask your parents what they have completed, and what they need help with.
It’s also good to be aware of their medical wishes, and determine who has the power of attorney if and when that status is needed.
Create a Good Transition
Knowing how to move forward with aging parents can be a daunting process. Planning is important, but communication is even more important to ensure that things go well. Make sure that you and your family are on the same page about how to help your parents in their later years.
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