Assessing the Needs of an Aging Parent
Planning for the future needs of aging parents can often be a sensitive and delicate task for adult children to undertake. Baby boomers who must balance the needs of their own children with concerns about their parents’ well being, have become known as members of the “sandwich generation,” as they struggle to provide multigenerational care and support. The amount of stress that comes with stretching oneself too thin is supported by today’s culture, which often seems to revere the notion of “superman” and “superwoman.” However, providing care for aging parents does not have to be a task that you face alone.
Although the topic may be difficult to broach, many are surprised to discover that talking with parents about their needs often opens doors of communication and strengthens familial bonds. One way to do this is through an assessment—which takes a thorough look at one’s physical, mental, environmental, social, and financial situation—to discover areas of concern and help ensure that risks are lessened, and that independence is maintained for as long as possible. You can perform an assessment by yourself, or enlist the aid of a professional who can help provide solutions for any situations that might arise. Following is a list of some issues you may want to cover.
You may wish to expand upon this partial list, or speak with a professional regarding areas of particular concern. In many cases, a parent may require more assistance in one area than another.
Boomers who are struggling to meet the demands of older and younger generations may find that outside help is necessary. In many situations, assistance has a price tag. Proper planning can help smooth the necessary transitions, both financially and emotionally. For many families, long-term care insurance can provide a measure of support. It offers a flexible funding alternative, often covering varying levels of care, and can help ensure that both medical and financial needs are met. Preparing today can help you provide for your family’s needs tomorrow.
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