Is caring for your aging parents a nightmare? How to avoid causing your children the same strife!
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I often hear from the adult children of my clients that the journey of caring for their parents has been so stressful. Therefore, they want to do everything they can to avoid putting the same burden on their own children as they age.
While that may not be entirely possible, there are certainly steps they can take to alleviate much of the burden from their children. The best thing to do is to ensure their aging plan is much better than that of their parents.
The truth is, most people don’t intend to place burden on their family but their lack of planning causes it. Most people don’t think they will need help until tragedy strikes.
Aging Parents Plan:
- Plan Ahead Financially- As early as age 40-50 it is a good idea to think about the expense of long term care. Long term care insurance is a good option for those who qualify medically and can afford the premium. Consulting with a reputable agency that can give you your options and help guide your decision is the best way to handle purchasing LTC insurance. Another strategy (and one that should still be done even if you do have long term care insurance) is saving and investing well. The cost of long term care services is rising at an alarming rate. According to Genworth, a reputable authority on the subject, long term care support services have outpaced the 2.1% U.S. inflation rate[ from 2017-2018 and over the past 15 years, all care service lines have seen increases in cost ranging from 19% to 67%. See 5 Tips To Help Aging Parents.
- Stay Active and Healthy- Perhaps the most important strategy is fending off chronic illness and other disease such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, through a healthy and active lifestyle. Maintain a diet that is low in sugar and unhealthy fats, and rich in leafy greens is ideal. Nuts, berries, whole grains, and fish have also all been linked to brain health. Incorporating aerobic exercise is also critical, in fact the World Health Organization recommends individuals aged 65 and over participate in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise weekly.
Aging Parents Doctor’s Visits:
- Keep Up with Doctor’s Visits and Health Screenings- Prevention is key and one of the best ways to avoid health issues as you age is to keep up with your regular doctor’s visits and health screenings. Always seek counsel from your doctor before engaging in any new exercise routines, and follow treatment plans closely for disease management.
- Put Your Wishes in Writing- Be sure to have a living will, that clearly defines your health care wishes. It should include an agent to make decisions for you in case you are incapacitated. Choose your agent wisely. Ensure you have both a financial and medical power of attorney. It is usually best to have them be 2 separate individuals. Always have a secondary back up person in case your first choice is unavailable, and make sure everyone you have selected knows what their role is.
Hiring a Consultant
- Hire an aging consultant- If you can afford to, it can be a great idea to hire an aging consultant to oversee and take care of issues that arise, so that your loved ones don’t have to juggle it all. Aging Life Care managers, previously known as Geriatric Care Managers, are professionals in the field of aging who help their aging clients and their families. They can assist to navigate the complex health care system, make informed decisions, such as deciding on the type of senior care community is right for them. They can also be the ‘eyes and ears’ for long distance family members
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