4 Ways baby boomers can help our aging parents

August 6th, 2015 No Comments

4 Ways baby boomers can help our aging parents

As we baby boomers age, so do our parents. Sometimes knowledge of our parents’ decreasing limitations slowly creeps up on us–they can no longer open tight lids or jars, their house hasn’t been as clean as it once was, or they are falling behind paying their bills, for example. Other times it suddenly hits when one of them has a medical emergency such as a serious fall or stroke and can’t take care of themselves; this is when we know for certain they need extra help from us, and perhaps other assistance such as senior home health care. Roles eventually start becoming reversed, whether we like it or not.

1. Reassure Your Parents

This role reversal can be tough on your parents. They want to retain their independence, rightfully so. This is a time to gently reassure your parents that you’re there to help them solve problems and issues that arise.

2. Get Educated

It’s also time to get educated. Find out what you can about their legal situation. Do they have a will? What are their financial arrangements (banking, CDs, stocks, etc.)? You may need to help them with paperwork in the future, so getting all of this together in one place will help tremendously. Also, get information on their physicians, medications, health insurance policies, advance funeral arrangements, etc. Become educated about the many senior living options. Nursing homes (also known as skilled nursing facilities) aren’t the only option for aging loved ones.

3. Don’t Go It Alone

Take advantage of the support and assistance of other family members, friends, Office on Aging programs, and related professionals (social workers, physicians, nurses, geriatric consultants, home care aides). They can help you with both the physical responsibilities and also with the emotional ones that come with caring for your elder parents. Brainstorm with these people about different ways to help your parents.

4. Allow Your Parents to Make Decisions

Even if your parents have limitations such as illness or lack financial resources, respect their opinions and their desire to make their own decisions. They want to remain in control of their lives.

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