Why No One Talks About Options Anymore
Facing the Facts that Parents Do Get Old and How to Handle the Situation
Generally, children avoid as long as possible to face the fact that their parents would someday will be unable to take care of themselves, like feeding themselves or climbing stairs, driving, and even changing of their clothes. It would pain us to think of what will happen with our parents in the future, but we need to be strong and face reality so we can be prepared to help and give them a comfortable and safe conditions in the remaining days of their lives. There are some matters to consider that will help you face the situation when your parents get old.
It is undeniable that most, if not all of us, do not want to think about the end of the lives of our parents, much less talk about it. In fact, having an in-depth discussion with parents about matters like living arrangements when they retire, inheritance, their long-term care, funeral wishes and so on, are not done by around 75% of children. But, it is also a fact, that not only are the children who are avoiding this so-called big talk, but spouses with ages 50 and above also have not talk with each other about these matters.
Considered as the most emotional and very important topic of discussion in a family, or as others would say the elephant in the room, this matter about parents reaching their old age has to be faced and tackled. It is a sad fact that one day our parents are fine and the next day they need a great amount of care from us, and so the more prepared the family is, the lesser the stress the whole family will face.
This kind of discussion with the family cannot be done just out of the blue, but rather, it is advisable to have a family meeting with your parents and siblings to prepare everybody with the conditions, from financial to feelings. The hardest part during this family meeting is the thought and grief of knowing that your parents will not be around in your life soon, and so it is better to make the agenda as less emotional as possible, like making the objective of the meeting to know what mom and dad needs and wishes as they get older, etc.
There are some guidelines from a professional source on what to prepare and conduct a family meeting with this kind of agenda. First suggestion is for everybody in the family personally present during the meeting, not chatting or sending emails, so that you have an honest feedback from each one. Other suggestions would be to have ready each one’s questions in advance so there is no rush in getting thoughts, give full attention to each one talking during the conversation, and write all the important matters agreed upon for future references.