As your parents get older, it becomes more and more important to make a few specific types of decisions as a family. These are not easy decisions. But the more openly that you discuss them, and the sooner you get around to talking about the more difficult parts, the less stressful the ultimate decision is going to be.
Consider some of the options that you’re going to have to go over with your aging parents at some point in your life. There are choices about nursing homes. There are decisions about when and how assisted living could be helpful. At some point, you may consider moving your parents in with you to help take care of them. And then there are also the implications of legal maneuvering and paperwork, especially if parents get to the point where they struggle to make logical decisions.
Nursing Home Choices
If your parents get the point where they can’t take care of themselves, one of the best options is to put them in a nursing home. There are lots of practical and logistical benefits to this, but it can possibly be a very different experience being in a nursing home that suits their needs and their personalities rather than a place where things don’t work out because of these same characteristics. People will have very good or very bad experiences in nursing homes, and there is not a whole lot of middle ground.
Assisted Living Options
Outside of the options of nursing homes, you can also sign up for assisted living options for your parents. You can have caretakers come in on a regular schedule and do necessary or helpful activities, or you can potentially even have someone as a live-in, permanent care employee. Sometimes it depends on your budget, and other times it’s more of a logistical decision concerning essential things like medical care.
Moving Them In With You
For some families, the best option is going to be having aging parents move in with you. Depending on your own family situation, this may be more or less reasonable. If the timing works out, your parents can potentially be babysitters or caretakers for your younger children. This is a very common arrangement.
Legal Aspects and Paperwork
The decisions that you make regarding your parents may not always be social, practical, or emotional either. There are plenty of legal aspects to adjusting your parents’ living situation that you may not be aware of ahead of time. You need to talk to a lawyer about things like health insurance, tax brackets, last will and testament, and any other paperwork like that. Make sure that you open up conversations with your parents about money and legality before there is a circumstance that makes it more complicated to fill everything out.