Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Boomers Not Prepared To Care For Aging Parents

A recent study commissioned by AARP suggests that many of us Boomers aren’t prepared to provide the care or oversight needed by our aging parents. According to Elinor Ginzler, director of livable communities for the American Association of Retired Persons,

Talking about how to care for elderly parents in the middle of a crisis is the worst and most difficult time to do so. That’s why planning ahead is so important.

If plans are made before a crisis hits, it’s more likely that plans will be in place that all family members want. And that’s as important for aging parents to know as it is for their children.

Somebody will decide where you spend the rest of your life — make sure it is you. When we operate in a crisis, it is rarely you who gets to make that decision.

According to Ginzler, topics of conversation with your parents should include:

Issues to discuss with aging parents include:

• How to pay for long-term care, and if long-term care insurance is needed.

• How older parents will get around when they can no longer drive.

• How older parents can continue bill-paying and other periodic maintenance such as yard work and auto registration.

• What older parents want their futures to be like.

• Assessment of current needs and current situations.

Of course, it helps if the parent is willing and able to look at life rationally. Unfortunately, even after the death of her husband, my mom is convinced that she’ll be able to stay in her home, maintain her affairs, and keep driving forever. And wishing will make it so…

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