Have you talked to your parents about their plans as they age? If you haven’t, it’s time. This is not a conversation to put off, even if it makes you uncomfortable. Don’t let your parents convince you it’s too early. Delaying discussions about estate planning and plans while aging can be a risky move.
The State May Decide Matters in Court
If your parents don’t have specific plans in place for certain medical situations, it could come down to courts to decide. For example, you know your dad didn’t want a feeding tube. He said it many times. His sister insists he never would have wanted to starve to death. He’s had a stroke and cannot speak for himself, but he never took the time on a living will or advance directives.
The disagreement between you and his sister could end up with a court deciding. Would your dad want that? It’s important that your parents take time to get legal matters like advance directions, powers of attorney, and DNR instructions in place while they are healthy.
Rushed Planning May Lead to Wait-Lists
In some areas, a lack of available services can lead to delays. If one parent has dementia and another parent passes away unexpectedly, immediate care of the parent with dementia is needed. If there’s a three-month wait for caregivers who are trained in dementia care, it’s up to the family to figure out how to balance care in the meantime.
Your Parents Tell You Want They Want
If you’ve talked about things in advance, when the time comes you know your parents’ wishes on aging in place. You know if they’d want to downsize and move to a smaller, more affordable home or stay in the home they raised you. You know if they want family members caring for them or if they’d prefer trained caregivers.
By talking it over, there are no surprises. You have time to research costs, look at available services, discuss long-term care insurance, and know what to expect. It’s better than suddenly needing the services and finding out there’s no way your parents could afford it.
Don’t put off the discussion about home care services. Make sure your parents understand that caregivers don’t infringe on their freedom or independence. Caregivers are there to help and ensure they can stay in their homes while getting help with harder tasks. Engage your parents in a conversation about the many benefits of home care today.