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Plan Ahead: 4 Ways You’ll Need to Help Your Parents in Their Old Age

If we live long enough, we will all reach old age. You’ve probably heard that before. But have you ever really thought about the work required to care for someone in their old age? Someone like your parents? Here are four ways you’ll probably need to help your aging parents that you should consider today.

Household Chores

This may be the first thing that people think of when they imagine themselves helping an aging parent. Elderly folks will often need help with tasks like yard work, heavy cleaning, and seasonal tasks.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming they need your help with everything around the house. If in doubt, ask what you can do to help. If you notice something has been left undone for a while, ask your parents why. The answer may be simple procrastination, or it could be an indicator that more help is needed.

Financial Oversight

No one actually wants to give up oversight of their finances, but it may become necessary. At the very least, you should keep an eye out for unusual activity in your parents’ accounts. Elderly people are often targeted for scams and fraud, and prevention is easier than trying to get their money back.

Medical Issues

You will likely need to help your parents with some medical issues. It could be as simple as attending their annual physical with them. Plan on helping them keep medications organized, make a list of questions to ask the doctor and devise a schedule for keeping up with follow-up care.

In the case of a chronic condition, your parent may need more skilled care that you are not able to provide. This may be a good time to search local senior care options to see what is available in your area.

End of Life Planning

Like it or not, death is part of life. Yet, not everyone wants to face the inevitable. Helping your parents talk about end of life planning can give them a sense of peace and accomplishment. After all, you are letting them know you will respect their wishes at a time when they can’t speak for themselves.

Start Planning Now

It’s never too early to think about caring for your parents. To illustrate that point, consider that there are more than 10 million unpaid millennial caregivers in the US. The best time to plan for helping your parents as they age is well before they need your help. Go ahead and schedule a time to sit down with your parents and help them plan for their future.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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