When you were younger, your parents may have been strong authority figures. They provided for your every need and taught you much of what you know now as an adult. But as you grow older and take on responsibilities, you will notice that your parents are also growing old.
This is often hard to digest, as parents seemed practically invincible our whole lives. However, as they age, their health and capacity to work also start declining. You can help them ease into their retirement by making preparations for them and with them.
Keep these tips in mind as you plan for your retiring parents’ future.
Things to Plan for Your Aging Parents
Here are a few of the most important aspects of retirement planning for your parents. These will help ensure that they are well taken care of and can enjoy their retirement.
- Look at various housing options
Depending on your parents’ mental and physical health, different kinds of housing will be more preferable to their situation.
For seniors who need regular assistance for their health and safety, assisted living and nursing homes are a couple of options that will ensure they are cared for. If your parents are living at home, on the other hand, see how their needs can be attended to. Arrange for groceries, in-home care, and other essentials should it be necessary.
Your parents may also require some financial assistance when living at home, especially if they still have a mortgage. A reverse mortgage is one option to take during this time, which may help alleviate the financial burden of funding a home as retirees.
- Have their medical needs accounted for
Although medical emergencies are not the most pleasant to plan for, it is important to be prepared. Devise a plan should they need immediate medical attention, such as assigning contacts on speed dial and having a protocol with caregivers and household help, if any, should an emergency arise.
Additionally, keep all medical records in one place so that these will be easier to access for doctor’s consultations. When it comes to medications, have visual reminders for which medicines to drink and when to drink them. In addition, avail of pharmacy delivery services for replenishing medications.
- See to it that legal documents are accounted for
Bringing up your parents’ last will is not an easy task. However, making sure that your parents have a written will can prevent various misunderstandings and conflicts in the future. Remind them to update their will and to keep it in a safe place.
Along with their medical records and wills, keep all legal documents safe, such as birth certificates, passports, marriage certificates, insurance policies, and the like, in a secure place. You can keep these, for example, in a safe at home, which you should also have access to when necessary.
Make It an Active Discussion with Your Parents
Do not exclude your parents from all the planning you are doing. As you make arrangements, discuss with them and be sensitive to their wishes.
- Ask them what they prefer to do
You can make plans about where they should live in retirement, but they should agree with these plans, too. Remember that your goal is to have your parents live the best quality of life in retirement, and where they live plays a huge role in this. Sit down with them and discuss possible living arrangements. Then ask for their input so that you can come up with an agreeable plan.
- Consider living somewhere nearby
You have your own daily responsibilities to attend to, but you also want to be able to check on your parents and visit them regularly. A possible solution to this is to live close to them so that you can have peace of mind in knowing that they are getting the care and support they need in retirement.
If moving somewhere close is not practical, see if their daily needs are easily accessible and if the neighborhood they live in is safe and friendly. Keep their physical limitations in mind, too, and make sure that these are attended to, whether they live in a care home or their own residence.
Offer Them Emotional Support
Aging is a new challenge for any parent, and it comes with its unique hurdles. As they experience the many changes of this stage in life, take the time to understand their feelings and concerns and be there for them. Patience and sensitivity are key traits to have as you help your parents settle into retirement.