First Steps When a Parent Starts Aging

medicare Empty nesters

Age is a natural part of life. We all take first steps, and we all have difficulty taking those steps at the end of our lives. While age can be discouraging, and even saddening, it doesn’t have to be void of joy.

If one of your parents is nearing the end of their life, they’ll start to experience some of the complications that come with old age. Steps will become dangerous territory. They’ll need regular checkups, and they may experience some of the health issues, like arthritis or failing hearing, that come with old age. You, as their child, will have a hard time watching them age, not only because they’re able to do less, but because a burden will start to fall on your shoulders. What your parents can’t do, you will try to do for them. The stress of caring for them can be a challenging time, but there are ways to make this season as joyful and fun as possible, despite its added complications.

Start the Conversation

When Mom or Dad gets older, they probably won’t be too happy about the fact. Age is something that happens “to somebody else,” and it can be psychologically difficult to realize it’s happening to you. As they look at more and more of their independence being taken away, they might get stubborn and even hostile regarding your attempts to help them. You don’t want to be fighting this uphill battle the day they move into a nursing home; start having these conversations early. Get Mom or Dad used to talking about home repairs, health issues, and small things they need help with. It will be less of a shock for both of you if you start the caretaking process early.

Look at Finances

To properly take care of one, or both, or your parents in their old age, you’ll need some money set aside for their long-term care. You may have the funds to do this, or your parents may have the funds, but either way, you’ll need to figure out how to provide for them. Look into cost-saving options like a reverse mortgage, or even check with an accounting and consulting firm to look at your parent’s financial figures.

Make Things Easier

Around the house, there are plenty of things that could cause extra trouble for your parents. Even just a three-step staircase into the bedroom could make their daily life more difficult, and ordinary things, like getting out of the shower, can cause serious injuries. To help your parents stay at home as long as possible, get their house ready for a different lifestyle. Move their bedroom onto the ground floor, and check out walk in tubs reviews to change their shower situation. The more little things as you can do to make life easier, the longer they’ll stay safe in their own house. You can hire a nurse to come in once a week until long-term care becomes necessary, and in the meantime, you can help around the house with minor repairs and shopping.