Your parents have helped you out since infancy. They have given you food, shelter, love, advice, taught you lessons, and even given you a basis for the way you act. Many times, parents go underappreciated until it is too late. And as your parents get older, they may rely more and more on getting help from you; this is a great way to show your appreciation and help them prepare for the future.
Living close to a parent allows you to help them out, check up on them, or stop by just to pay them a visit throughout the week. This can help you keep a tab on where they are at in terms of health, financial status, and everything else going on in their lives. You want to be aware of how they are doing, what is happening in their lives, and if there ever is an emergency, you want to be able to help out. But living close to elderly parents is not always an option, so caring for them can become more difficult.
You want your parents or parent to get the best care possible, and for you to be sure they are safe and secure. But how are you supposed to do this from miles away? Susan Gwinn understands the importance of preparing for the future and being ready for any scenario. This list should help you better care for your elderly parents from afar, as well as ease your mind.
Think About Living Situations
Your parents may live alone for now, and they may prefer it that way, but what happens if they suddenly become unable to live alone? This could be for many reasons—whether it is because they have developed worsening health issues, they have become too weak to move about their home, or they have become increasingly forgetful to a point that it is becoming dangerous. You are going to have to figure out a different living situation for them.
If your parents are still able to take care of themselves for the most part but need some assistance with a few everyday activities, then home care may be the perfect option. Home care allows them to live on their own and receive assistance for things like cleaning, grocery shopping, housework, and more. This is a great option, allowing your parents to remain independent but receive the help they need to live a fully functioning life.
Unfortunately, your parents may need more assistance than with just these small daily tasks. If your parents are unable to live independently, they may need to be placed in assisted living. This allows them to live in their own space but have help available constantly whenever needed. They live in a community can enjoy different activities, and are given a sense of security. If your parents need more help than just with cleaning or cooking, they may require an assisted living home.
Parents Living Alone
If you parent is healthy enough to live alone, or is being taken care of a spouse who is in better health, you still want to be sure they are getting the proper care. Be sure to visit them a few times a year, to ensure their home is safe, everything is running correctly, and that they are getting the care they need.
If your parents are taking medication, be sure they are sticking with their dosage and taking the correct pills everyday. It is hard to be sure of this if you can’t visit more than once every few months. If this is the case, hiring a home care professional who could make daily stops at your parents home and ensure they are taking their medication, could help your elderly parents stay health longer and allow you to stop stressing.
If you stop by once a month, always be sure to check on the important aspects of their home. Make sure their AC or heat is running properly so that their home can be at a comfortable temperature for them. Be sure their water heater is still working and will not stop anytime soon. Check the refrigerator, freezer, oven, and stove. If you own a home of your own, you know that things go wrong and need to be repaired all the time, your parents may realize that something is not working properly but they may not be able to fix it.
It is also a good idea to get to know your parents neighbors, or someone in the area who could check on your parents every once in awhile, update you on how they are doing, and help you keep peace of mind about your parents living on their own. If you have a friend or a sibling in the area, you could ask them to stop by and spend some time with your parents, this could help your parents feel more comfortable living on their own and allow you to feel better about the situation as well.
Learn About Health Care
The older your parents get, the more medical issue they are likely to have. You want to be sure to choose a plan that will help your parents out the most. Medicare and Medicaid are a few of the choices, but be sure to do a lot of research, read the fine lines, learn about the plans, and choose the right one for your parents. If your parents are in an assisted living home, be sure that they are taking care of your parent’s medical needs.
It is never too early to start estate planning. If your parents have yet to plan their estate, the time to do it is now. It is better to do it while they are still coherent and can tell you what they wish to do with their estate, than to do it during a low point in their life.
When estate planning with your parents, there are a few things you want to be sure of. First, you want to know where all of their important documents are. You want to be sure you have everything in one place so that when you do decide to start the plan, you have everything in order.
Be sure you know what your parents wish to do with all of their belongings, accounts, and anything else that they may have specific requests for. This is also a good time to discuss what is to happen if they no longer can make decisions for themselves.
This may be a hard conversation, but it is important and needs to happen before it is too late. Susan Gwinn is experienced, professional, and can help you with your parents or your own estate planning. To learn more about estate planning, the importance of it, and what happens if it never gets done, read our previous blogs.
Taking care of your parents may not be an easy task, but by taking care of estate planning early, you can take a lot of stress off your plate. These simple tips are only a few ways to make caring for your parents easier for you and them. If you have any questions about estate planning and how to best help your parents complete the task, contact us today to learn more and get started on your estate planning.