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Important Issues You Need To Discuss With Ageing Parents

By Julius Choudhury, dearJulius.com

There comes a time in everyone's life when you go to visit your mom and dad and realize they are not as spry as they once were. It may be that they are a little more fragile or are having trouble with their mobility. It can even be that they just get more tired when doing normal stuff. Of course, when this happens, it's a good indicator that it's time to have a chat about the more critical issues associated with ageing. A topic that we go into more detail on, below.


Their goals

The first thing that you will need to discuss with your ageing parents is the goals they have for their golden years. In fact, it is absolutely vital to remember that ageing doesn't necessarily mean an unavoidable decline in health. Instead, people are living for longer and longer. Therefore, just like at any other phase of life, they must have meaningful goals to work towards during this time.


Of course, these may look a little different to the goals they may have had earlier in life. In particular, working towards their career may take a back seat in favor of other things such as enjoying more leisure, time, traveling or spending time with family.


Important Issues You Need To Discuss With Ageing Parents


However, this will not be the case for every individual, as it is becoming more popular for those approaching the golden year to earth retrain in another profession. Some even choose to start up their own business or dedicate their considerable expertise to a charitable cause. Something that means you will need to have a discussion on this with your parent to ascertain what they wish to do.


Where they will live

Next, for many people, the question now where they will live in their golden years is a major one that needs to be discussed. In fact, having this talk with your parents can avoid a lot of misunderstanding and disappointment later on.

Of course, there is a range of options to consider here. Although, above all else, the desires and needs of the individual concerned are what should be prioritized. One option will be for your parents to move in with you in your home.  Something that can work well if they are struggling in their own residence, but still want to be in familiar surroundings.


Where they will live


However, choosing this option can be both challenging and rewarding for everyone involved. After all, you will have to navigate living with people that have traditionally been in charge of the space you occupy together. Something that can mean it's easy for families to experience a bit of a power struggle at first.

Another option is to help your parents stay in their own home. This being a choice that many would prefer if their health allows it. In fact, do remember that even if your aging loved one are struggling with mobility this doesn't necessarily mean they have to live in residential accommodation. After all, there are a vast range of mobility aids such as stairlifts and walk-in showers. All of which can be installed in their current residence and will allow them to stay in their own home for as long as they wish.

Lastly, there is always the option of residential care to consider. There are many different levels of retirement homes to choose from too. Some, where people take care of themselves for the most part to those that offer full nursing care.

Of course, the critical deciding factor when it comes to this type of accommodation is the medical and safety needs of the individuals concerned. Something that doesn't always mean it is possible to follow people's wishes to the letter.

However, you have a much better chance abiding by your parents' wishes, if you have discussed it with them beforehand. Something that can be particularly valuable if the individual in question is no longer able to express what they want due to a medical condition. To that end, while having a conversation about these type of living arrangement can be very tough, it is well worth the effort of doing so.


Mental health

A lot of people focus on discussing and doing things to keep their parents' physical health as good as possible as they age. However, mental health can also be an essential issue for those approaching their golden years.


In fact, there are some mental health issues, in particular, that older people are more vulnerable to. These include depression, anxiety, and dementia. Luckily, there are places that you can go for help with such issues, including this Dementia support organization. A charity that can not only provide information on the condition but education for those helping others to cope with it as well.

Of course, tendencies towards anxiety and depression can be aggravated in later life due to medical conditions, chronic pain, and isolation that comes with a lack of mobility. Something that means having regular discussion with your parents as to how they feel emotionally as well as physically is vital.


Their will


Their will

Lastly, discussing whether your parents have made a will, and recorded their wishes for end of life care is very important. Although doing so can be very challenging for all involved.

In particular, you must encourage them to not only make a will but also to get it adequately recognized by the laws of your land. Otherwise, you may end up facing a situation where one parent is left with access to joint assets, including money, bank accounts and even their house.

Of course, such a situation is not only very upsetting but can hurt the remaining parents quality of life and care as well. To that end, it's essential that you don't avoid the will conversation no matter how uncomfortable it is.

Additionally, making clear what their wishes are in terms of end of life care is something very valuable for aging parents. In fact, it can help reduce the anxiety about this phase of life, as well as make sure that everything is as clear as possible for everyone involved. Something that can help to make an otherwise tough time, just a little easier.



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