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. This may be a painful thought of the future, but we need to face and prepare ourselves, and our parents, to give them a comfortable and safe condition in the last stages 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. Statistics showed that around 75% of adult children have not had a serious talk with their parents about situations when their parents get old, like living arrangements, their long-term care, inheritance, funeral wishes and so on. Another reality is that not only the adult children are shunning away this very important issues, but also parents themselves like those with ages 50 and above who are still refusing to talk about these matters.
The agenda about parents getting old is considered as the elephant in the room yet the most difficult subject matter that a family would have to talk about and have to face. 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 most difficult part during the family meeting is the thought that you are discussing the days when you will not have your parents in your life sooner than later, and thus it is better to make the agenda as less intense as possible, like saying that the goal of the meeting is to know what dad and mom would need and their wishes as they retire, or something to that effect.
Sources have some tips on how to conduct and what to prepare during this kind of family meeting agenda. One is to have the meeting in person, not via chat or email, so you will have an honest reactions and opinions. Other pointers would be to prepare questions ahead of time, take notes of important points for future references, and give each other undivided attention during conversations.