12 Ways For Dealing With Aging Parents

If you have found this site when searching for answers of dealing with aging parents, it is probably because you at least suspect your parents either need help now or they will in the future. To confirm your suspicions you need to pay close attention during your next visit.

Look for clues like:

  1. Is the yard left unattended?
  2. Are dishes piled up in the sink?
  3. Are there dents and scratches in the car?
  4. Does the house need cleaning that they may not see?
  5. Are there unpaid bills laying around in the open?
  6. Is the refrigerator and pantry poorly stocked?
  7. Does the house have unusual amounts of clutter?
  8. Do they make idle comments about inflation and health?

How Do I Handle These Issues?

Giving assistance and protective oversight to a parent involves a reversal of roles. This can be an uncomfortable experience for both generations because it requires adjustment on the part of both parties.

The hardest part when dealing with aging parents is bringing up the topic. Most seniors who live long enough need help with both physical assistance and with handling finances. Since most seniors do not talk openly about either topic, it usually falls to the child to bring it up. Most adult children find it easier to start with medical issues.

12 Ways For Dealing With Aging Parents

Here are some ideas that you can share with your parent

  1. Rent a movie about death and dying, watch it together and then talk about it after.
  2. Talk about the recent death of a person who you both know.
  3. Share an article or magazine story with your parent about related topics.
  4. Ask if anyone in the family has ever had cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, etc.
  5. Ask permission to talk about the topic of aging and death.
  6. Explain that you wish to handle things the “right way.”
  7. Express concern that you will be left “holding the bag,” and you do not want to make decisions while in a state of shock and grief.
  8. Pick a time free of interruptions and stress (not on holidays, weddings, birthdays, etc.).
  9. Solicit support from siblings, then stand together and present a united front.
  10. Ask your parent what choice they would prefer to honor end of life?
  11. Did you handle your parent’s affairs? How?
  12. “I want your final wishes upheld and honored, so please help me!”

Once comfortably in the topic, it is easier to transition into the discussion of how you pay for all this.

  • Do they have health insurance?
  • What is the premium?
  • Can you have a copy of the card in case of emergency?