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  • Diana Holstein

What Do I Do With Mom?

Are your parents in their 70's, 80's, or 90's? Are you increasingly seeing signs of decline? Many seniors are still very involved with their families and communities; however, they eventually need some level of help from loved ones. The mental, emotional, and financial toll can be daunting even in the best-case scenarios. Hopefully, they have a senior plan in place. If not, it would be wise to implement one; to be prepared.

A few things to consider when you deal with aging relatives are:

1. Do your parents need help with daily living activities?

2. Are there safety issues to consider?

3. What type of medical or health conditions do they have?

4. Are there housing, financial, or legal matters to examine?

5. What things can you put into place before a need becomes an emergency?

Beyond these obvious questions are the hushed “elephant under the rug” ones. If you have ever dealt with an impaired, elderly loved one, you know what I mean: i.e., who will tell Mom she cannot drive anymore or tell your father you need to take charge of his bank account? How about mentioning it is time to sell their home and downsize, or it may be time to enter an assisted or independent living facility? What is the best fit if one parent is failing and the other is still healthy and thriving? There can also be an additional layer of stress if you have siblings or other relatives who want to weigh in with differing opinions. The role reversal of being cared for to caregiver can be challenging and bittersweet.

We all want the best for our parents, but at what cost? We can control and eliminate much of the anxiety with proper organization and preparation. Talk to your parents and family before it becomes critical. Contact a senior family specialist or a life coach to help you navigate the emotions and logistics that come with caring for your loved ones.

Diana says, "The best way to prepare for tomorrow is to ask questions today."

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