Prepare for Aging Parents
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Prepare for Aging Parents – 5 Ways to Get Ready

I’m not sure any of us are prepared for getting older. It feels like only yesterday when we were under the care, guidance, and protection of our parents. Now, we’re the parents protecting our kids and our older parents are the ones needing the support. Our roles have reversed!

Are you ready to manage your parents’ care as they grow older? Do you know if they have a plan?

This article outlines 5 ways you can get ready.

Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.

1. Start Talking to Your Parents

Talking with your parents about their plans for aging can be tricky. Discussing these sensitive topics can feel scary for you and your parents. They’re in a new chapter in life facing many changes that can be unsettling. Encourage them to share with you their wishes.

Ask if they’ve:

  • Made funeral arrangements and noted their preferences
  • Thought about the legacy they would like to leave behind
  • Considered the role they’d like you and your siblings to play in helping them
  • Created an advance care plan and end of life plan
  • Documented their personal and financial information and noted where it’s located.

Discussing these sensitive topics with your parents can feel scary, but do it anyway.

2. Assess Your Aging Parents’ Needs

This is an important step because needs and wants don’t always match. For example, your parents may want to age in their own home or move to assisted living, but their physical or cognitive needs may require long term care. 

Here’s how you can understand their environment, healthcare needs, and financial situation.

Physical Health 

  • Do they have mobility issues that require home modifications, assistive devices, or a driver to get them to appointments? 
  • Are there medical conditions that require ongoing monitoring, rehab, or caregiver support to help with personal care and medication?

Mental Health

  • Take note of their emotional state. Are they stable and content, or have you noticed signs of depression or anxiety, like changes in behaviour, appetite, or social activities? 
  • Are they mentally sharp or are there changes in memory, communication, mood, judgment, motivation? 

Financial Health

  • Did they create a financial plan for retirement ensuring they have enough assets and income to support themselves for their lifetime? 
  • Have they created a realistic budget that includes in-home care, assisted living, or retirement homes? 
  • Are they working with trusted advisors?

Your parents’ physical and mental well being is ever changing. Create routines that connect you to them regularly so you can monitor how they’re doing.

Understand their environment, healthcare needs,
and financial situation.

3. Know Their Advance Care and End of Life Plans

Advance care and end of life plans put your parents in charge of their destiny and ensure you’re equipped to make tough life changing decisions on their behalf.

Advance Care Plan

An Advance Care Directive outlines your parents’ wishes should they should they lose mental capacity. It includes their preferences for emergency medical interventions, quality of life, and the type of care facility they want if they suffer from dementia or cannot return home from a hospital stay. Read our blog “Advance Care Planning – A Lifeline for Your Family”.

End of Life Plan

An end of life plan documents your parents’ wishes when facing the end of life. 

  • Would they prefer to die at home or in a hospice if they had a choice? 
  • What type of environment do they want to be in during their last days? 
  • Do they want MAiD at a certain stage of a terminal illness?

Be prepared to make tough life changing decisions
on behalf of your parents.

4. Review Their Legal and Financial Plans

Will and POA Documents 

Find out if your parents have a Will and Power of Attorney documents and if they’re current. You could be facing a host of issues should they die or lose mental capacity without these documents in place. It’s too late to create them should they become incapacitated.

And make sure if you are appointed executor or attorney to review these documents with your parents to be sure their wishes are clear and you understand their decisions.

Summary of Personal and Financial Information

Also ask if they’ve summarized their personal and financial information, such as bank and investment accounts, life insurance policies, property ownership, passwords etc. And if you’re their executor or attorney, ask to review this information, and know where everything is located. 

Learn about our Family Playbook™, where personal and financial information can be documented in one place.

Knowing your parents’ wishes and the location of important documents can speed up estate settlement and prevent family discord.

5. Discuss Caregiver Planning

Prepare for Aging Parents

Find out where your parents want to live and their lifestyle preferences. It’s important to discuss  available, affordable options that are safe and suitable. 

Review options like:

Aging in Place

  • Assess if any home renovations are required for safety and accessibility, available providers for home maintenance, and the type of in-home care required.

Seniors Apartment

  • Do they need a more simplified living arrangement by downsizing to a seniors retirement apartment where social, recreational and limited support services are available?

Assisted Living

  • Are they better cared for at a facility that offers meals, cleaning, social and recreational activities, medication management, daily check-ins and medical support? 

Long Term Care (LTC)

  • Or is it necessary they move to a LTC facility due to a medical condition that requires a higher level of care? 
  • Have your parents researched places where they would be the most comfortable?

Learn about alternate housing options in our blogs -”Shared Living Homes -An Alternative to Large Retirement Establishments” and “NORCs – A Personalized Retirement Living Option in Your Own Community”.

Stay informed, the types of senior housing options
are evolving rapidly.


Caring for our aging parents reminds us just how vulnerable we become as we grow older and  that with every passing year, every second counts.

Most of us find it too difficult to talk about these uncomfortable topics. Yet we must if we want to be ready to protect and care for our parents as they did for us. 

Follow these 5 ways to get ready to support your parents in their older years. Start talking to them now to understand their wishes and the legacy they want to leave behind.

 Did this article give you insight on how you can get ready to help your aging parents? 

We’d love to know if you’re currently helping an aging parent and what you did when taking that first step to offer your support. Share your experience!

Financial Concierge™ offers Professional Executor and Power of Attorney services to assist  with executor, attorney duties or help with managing daily financial activities. Learn more about Financial Concierge™ here.

Author: Janet Jackson, Contributor: Jill Chambers

DISCLAIMER: This blog is not intended to be legal or financial advice and should not be construed as anything other than for information purposes.

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