Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

How to Help Grandma and Grandpa Manage Their Affairs

Getting older is not easy for anyone. If you are an adult, chances are that loved ones in your life, such as your grandparents, have entered their golden years, and they may or may not be prepared to address and deal with all the issues that come along with this phase of life. Being equipped with knowledge and resources on managing one’s affairs will better position you to truly be helpful and supportive to your family when the need arises. Here are some tips on navigating this season with those you love.

Start the Conversation Early

Aging brings significant changes to one’s life: physically, emotionally, socially, and often cognitively. While our loved ones are still able, we need to prompt the conversations most people generally avoid. Primarily, we need to ask our loved ones about their wishes and desires. What is most important to them going forward? What do they deem as an adequate quality of life? Plans for their possessions, home, finances, and end-of-life care all need to be discussed. Though it may feel uncomfortable and perhaps premature, remind them of your desire to honor their wishes. Things will flow much more smoothly if everything has been clearly understood ahead of time.

Put it in Writing

A number of legal and medical documents help provide guidance to others on a person’s wishes, particularly relating to financial and medical desires. Find out if grandpa and grandpa yet have a will, an advanced directive, and a do not resuscitate order. Having clear instructions about these matters is incredibly helpful in a moment of crisis. Additionally, if they do not already have a life insurance policy, explain the importance of this type of coverage in the event of a spouse’s death. Professionals, like those at Senior Leads, know what life insurance is all about. Talk to your loved ones about the financial implications they are prepared for, and if necessary, educate them about planning for a surviving spouse’s needs.

Get Help

Whether you are going to be caring for your grandparents at some point in the future, or simply are a loving and involved grandchild, you will need support as you encounter the world of senior care. Don’t attempt to do this on your own; seek out those who have been through this before for knowledge and resources. Incite a teamwork mentality among all the family involved. Above all, remember to go at this effort alongside your loved ones. Maintaining control and dignity is valuable to everyone and becomes all the more so in life’s final stage.

Tim Esterdahl

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