When I was young, my mother seemed so much older than she really was. I remember when she was forty and believed that she was wizen and aged. Well, now that I’m in my forties, it dawned on me just how young she was back then. I never considered though that someday she might actually pass away. I guess I figured she’d always be ‘mom’ and just live forever. But as she does actually move through the eventide of life, it’s time to take a few steps now that will help her later.
- Open dialogue. As much as I hope she lives another thousand years, we both know it most likely won’t happen. It’s ok to talk openly about her fears and needs as she ages. And this includes finances. Medical care and housing are going to need to be addressed, and the more I can make sure her wishes are fulfilled, the happier we will both be.
- Tidy up the legal aspects. Is the will updated? Who has power of attorney? Getting these legal matters resolved now, while everyone is clear of mind, will make the requirement later an easy task.
- Safety in the home. It’s amazing how some of the simple things are taken for granted, like the ability to walk up stairs. Taking a close look at how accessible a home is for someone that is aging can really help prevent falls, inconveniences, or worse: a dangerous injury. Check carpets for snags that can catch shuffling feet; faucets that are difficult to close off completely; clearly mark hazardous chemicals, medicines and other items that need close reading; consider installing easy to access handles, to name a few.
I am counting on my children to consider these few tips as well when I someday take the journey my mother is on right now.
Source: Care for Aging Parents