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Caring for aging parents: How can you start to prepare?

Caring for aging parents: How can you start to prepare?

August 02, 2022

In too many cases, adult children first start caring for their parents as the result of an unexpected medical or financial crisis. This approach—of reacting to crises and not having a game plan in place ahead of time—can be a recipe for uncertainty, stress, and even resentment. To avoid this, it’s best to start planning now.

Even though it will be uncomfortable, talk to your parents while they’re still healthy and independent. Here are some ideas to introduce the conversation:

  • Share interesting information you come across, such as this article about the cost of long-term care, and ask if they’ve heard it before. 
  • Use your own will as a point of entry. Tell them you recently made updates, and it got you thinking about their health and future.
  • Share a story or anecdote about a friend who’s caring for their parents or someone whose insurance didn’t cover long-term care costs.

From each of these starting points, you can ease into conversations about future plans. Some parents have their future mapped out, and others will need encouragement. The central question here is where your parents will prefer to live once they’re no longer able to live on their own. Once the conversation has started, you can talk through care options, from independent living arrangements to assisted living to nursing homes.

Having a clear vision for your parents’ care in later years can help you plan for your own future. If you’d like to talk about this topic in greater depth, please don’t hesitate to call the office.