How To Cope With My Aging Parents
As the last of the Baby Boom generation pushes into the twilight years, you might find yourself wondering "how do I cope with my aging parents." If you're on the giving side of care for their later years, you might find yourself having to step up to the plate and care for your aging parents. It's really not all that hard and may end up being one of the most rewarding things you've ever done. Come along and learn about how to cope with aging parents.
- Make a fair, honest assessment of your aging parents needs. Studies show that the elderly live longer, happier lives within a family home. If your parents are no longer able to care for themselves in their own home, consider making a spot for them in your home, if possible. Check with all of your family members as you must have a unanimous vote. Coping with your aging parents will not just affect you if they live with you, but the entire clan.
- Try to keep a watchful eye on the finances of any elderly parent. This might be difficult as, although your parents are aging, you're still the child and they might resent you meddling in their money issues. Be aware though that a lot of scam artists prey on the elderly and, no matter how savvy your elderly parent may be, they're still a target. If you see large amounts of money disappearing from their checking account, ask gentle probing questions. Try not to be accusatory and make sure you explain that you're only concerned for them.
- The most difficult thing to do when coping with aging parents may be to take away their driving licenses. This is, by far, the hardest thing for you to do and for them to give up as driving is synonymous with independence. Taking a ride in the car with them every few weeks will help you assess whether they can continue to drive or not. Sadly, you should error on the side of caution and take away the keys when you see the very first sign that your aging parents' reflexes, sight, or driving skills are not up to par. Discuss your feelings with them. If you're lucky, they'll hand over the keys.
- Give your elderly parents choices when possible. Coping with an elderly parent is basically like raising a child, but in reverse. Just as with children, you'll have a better chance of getting along if you give your senior parent choices about what to eat, what to do, when to go out, etc. And, as times may become challenging, always remember that they cared for you all those years. Now is your time to give back.