Watching our parents get older can feel hard; it’s important to understand how we can support our parents as they get older so that they are taken care of physically, mentally, and emotionally. We’re joined by Stacey Gordon, Program Director, Next Phase, Adult Caregiving and Retirement at NYU’s Work Life. She sheds light on this important topic for those who are in that sandwich generation: taking care of your own children while feeling like you’re at a point where you need to take care of your parents.
Start with a Conversation
It’s tempting to view our parents getting older with concern and worry, and we may hyper-focus on what we think they need as opposed to what they want. Stacey encourages us to start with having a conversation with our parents to check in how they’re doing, how they feel about getting older, and ask what help they may want. Stacey recommends we start where they are at.
Whether our parents need practical, mental, medical help, or something else, we want to avoid trying to force care or support on them. Shannon reminds us that we can use our own estate and financial planning to start a conversation with our parents to check in on if they have plans in place.
Remaining Open While Being Practical
It’s complicated to plan for the unknown- we don’t know how our parent’s lives or their health will unfold, so it’s important to remain open and to remember that this is also a time where our loved ones can thrive as they age. However, we also want to be practical, so take steps such as getting contact information for people who live near your loved ones, helping them find local care as needed, and finding out where they keep their legal and financial documents are or who their lawyer is in the event that you need that information are all good steps to take.
Learn more about a healthcare proxy and living wills
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