These taking care of aging parents tips are from someone who has been there, done that and are doing it again. That would be Joan Lunden, speaking at the Washington Post Live’s Caregiving in America. She offers tips from her experience caring for her 94 year-old mother and insight on being proactive about talking with your parents or relatives about end of life care.
Taking care of aging parents tips
No one wants to have the conversation and it’s not easy to get started. Especially, since you are transitioning into a role reversal with your parent. Lunden’s advises to start talking now; early, when they are able to make choices for themselves. She also offers a 3-step plan to make it a success, with examples.
- Start a conversation with your parents about what they want their later decades to look like. Get them to speak about it in their terms.
- Gather adult siblings together without your parents to discuss so everyone can feel comfortable being about being honest. Make it a business meeting with an agenda. Get them to talk about willingness to help, availability and what level of assistance they can offer.
- Then, go back to your parents and talk about money. “If you don’t, it will come back to haunt you,” Lunden says. Knowing what they have saved will help you plan your own financial future.
After all that is over, it is time to get your plan in place for them. Start the list of everything you are going to need, including a durable power of attorney, HIPAA release an advanced healthcare directive (living will) and others. Watch the video to get her full story.