None of us grew up thinking that one day we might have to care for our aging parents. Along with our own sets of commitments and responsibilities, many of us (especially between the ages of 35-55) are seeing the need to give a helping hand to our aging parents or grandparents.
How can we find the time and ways to help them while we may be struggling ourselves? It is not easy being a daughter or a son who is being called on to step up and be the parent in the situation – after all, they have parented us for all these years. Plus, we are torn by emotional and financial issues attached to the situation.
The fact of the matter is, not all parents are created equal! Just knowing this can make our planning a bit more effective and less confrontational.
I’m sure you’ve seen them:
- Perfect victims- cannot make decisions and always rely on you to help out.
- Controllers and manipulators- want to make all decisions and they are always right and you are to listen and do what they want.
- The one in between- they are the sweet, caring and cooperating parents who will help themselves and are willing to receive help.
Do you know what type of aging parents you have? Thank heavens most of us are blessed with the “in betweens”. When you know this about your aging parent or relative, it is easier to start the plan and the conversation – always asking the questions “what comes next” or “what is the next step.” Keep thinking forward and moving forward!
One of the many books we reviewed here at Keeping in Touch Solutions was The Parent Care Conversation, by Don Taylor, dealing with conversations that most of us will be forced to face as our loved ones age or fall victim to Alzheimer’s. This is a good read for anyone who is a practicing caregiver.
It isn’t easy for our loved ones to think about losing their independence and freedom. But it isn’t easy being the son or daughter of a frail or ill parent living in another community – just waiting for the other foot to fall!
Starting the conversation ASAP is imperative. This is the first in weekly posts related to “money matters” – since most issues are involved with money!
Is it time for you and your aging parents to sit down and talk about any financial issues – in a non-judgmental way – they are facing at the current time? Are they in debt? Do they have cash all over the house? Do they have a right structure for all their financial portfolio and needs? Where and what are their bank accounts information and investments information? Do they have all legal papers regarding money in one location? Do they have all necessary paperwork signed and documented legally and correctly? Where is it? Can we get everything together and in one place – a box, desk drawer, etc. – and then review?
It is not easy to start such conversations since all along they are the ones who gave you the advice about money. But you can’t help unless you know what they want!
There may be a role switch going on here- which could be very emotional. While in these conversations, it is important to identify in a non-judgmental way which type of aging parents you are conversing with today. However, these are crucial times to ensure smooth moves or transitions for you and your aging parents. Don’t let it be too late.
Plan ahead with your siblings and aging parents to have the money talks. By initiating conversations that consult and partner instead of taking over…we like to call it, coming alongside your aging parents. That will reduce all defenses, intimidations and tensions.
Are you facing this situation right now?
Are you postponing the ‘talk’ with your aging parents?
Are you planning ahead with your aging parents for their needs in the near future?
We would love to hear your stories about how you started the money conversation with your loved one.
We, at “Keeping in Touch Solutions”, are here to serve. Our daily check-in call and medication reminder can brighten the day for your home bound loved one – you’ll feel better, too knowing they have connected with the outside world today.
Leave us your questions and comments. Let us know how we can serve you.
Diana Beam is an entrepreneur with a vision and a heart for the elderly. She has more than 30 years of experience as a teacher, long term care administrator, home health care pioneer, senior real estate specialist and owner of Keeping in Touch Solutions. Her passion is to see working women and men with elderly parents set free from guilt of not having time or proximity to their aging parents and helping the elderly with their aging needs and transition challenges. Diana lives in Indiana with her husband Ron and they have 3 grown children, 2 grandsons and a golden retriever named Hope and a calico cat named Ms Dottie. Grab her free report, 7 ways to provide maximum support to your parents, today. If you’d like to learn more about Diana and how she helps elderly clients through Keeping in Touch Solutions, check out her website at www.