How to Help an Aging Parent

Getting old is part of life. It might be strange to watch your parents get on in years, but there’s beauty in old age. Many people find their senior years the happiest in their life. Your parents have every reason to enjoy this season in their life, and as their child, you can enjoy their enjoyment. A tougher future, however, is just around the corner. Right now, your parent is able to care for his or herself, and do things for his or herself around the house. Eventually, however, you may need to move Mom or Dad to an Assisted Living, or provide in-home care. How to Help an Aging Parent

It isn’t easy contemplating their last season of life, since it will be a difficult time for everyone. You can, however, make that transition smoother. Start getting Mom or Dad used to accepting help, and remember to not be pushy. They’re probably only too fully aware that life gets harder from here. They might be resistant to help. You wouldn’t want a fall or home emergency to occur, however, just because the two of you didn’t prepare together. Start making an effort to help around their house. Together, the two of you can start crafting a comfortable, safe future.

Get Finances in Place

Finances will likely be your biggest worry as your parent ages. For them as well, money will likely be a source of tension. It’s not easy to realize you don’t have enough saved for your future, and your parent may feel guilty for needing your help. They may, on the other hand, feel entitled to your financial care: which could cause grouchiness on your part. Be ready for tempests, and try to handle this season with as much patience as possible. Ideally, the two of you can work out a plan for their long-term care. Assisted Livings cost money, and every plan helps when it comes to caring for Mom or Dad’s future. They may need to relocate to an apartment and sell the house for added funds. You’ll likely want to start saving for your share of the long-term care, and you’ll want legal consultation for Medicaid plans in Syracuse, NY.  Medicare and other forms of financial help, like a reverse mortgage, should be looked into well before they become a serious need.

Keep the House in Good Shape

Your parent’s home is probably getting on in years, too. If your parent isn’t quite as mobile as they used to be (climbing ladders onto the roof might not be their thing anymore) then certain aspects of the home may have fallen into disrepair. It’s your job to start keeping an eye out for things that need to be repaired around the house. At first, your parent may object to getting help from you, so start small and get them used to the idea. After a while, you should be able to check the foundation, inspect the attic, and double-check the plumbing without starting a squabble. It’s important that the home stay safe while your parent remains there, and the better care you take of their home, the more you’ll be able to sell it for. If the foundation is cracked or sinking, look into concrete raising and repair. If the heat isn’t working as well as it used to, contact heating and air conditioning repair services in Livonia, MI. You wouldn’t want the furnace to give out during a blizzard when you’re on vacation in Florida. Keep the home in good shape, and you’ll have better peace of mind.   

Keep the Car in Good Condition

Your parent, as they age, will start to use their car less. Especially if they own a good car, you’ll want to keep it in good condition, despite its infrequent use. A car should be driven a couple of times each month, so feel free to use Mom or Dad’s car if you take them out to get groceries. If you find that your parent isn’t driving enough to make the car worth keeping, try to get a good price for it on craigslist. You might find it’s worth your while to get old dents and scrapes repaired, since the car probably has a low mileage. Contact auto body repair services in Lincoln City, OR and get your parent’s car looking great again. You’ll both be relieved by the financial boost the sold car provides, so make sure the car is in great shape as long as you have it around. You also wouldn’t want your parent to face an unsafe situation if they need to drive out in an emergency. A seldom-used car might fail to start, so make sure their car is running optimally at all times.

Take Care of Yourself, Too

Caring for an aging parent isn’t easy. When you have a strained relationship with your parent, it can make their long-term care even harder. Remember, during this season, to take care of yourself as well. If your parent is critical or cruel in any way, limit your contact with them. They are getting older, and they do need help, but that doesn’t mean they get a get-out-of-jail-free card. You still deserve respect. If unsettled tension can be worked out with your parent, now is the right time to talk about old issues and start to pave a better relationship. This season will likely be emotional for you on several levels, and you need to take care of yourself as well as your parent. Don’t hesitate to see a therapist, especially if increased interaction with your parent is leaving you more anxious or snappish than usual. Your parent deserves proper care, but so do you–so maintain appropriate boundaries and self respect when dealing with your parent.

This upcoming season in your parent’s life won’t be easy, but it will be much easier if you start preparing for it now. The two of you can find better ways to keep peace, make plans, and ensure a seamless transition for both of you.

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