With spring, you may find yourself surrounded by invitations to graduations and weddings. As you plan your attendance to these family events, pay attention to your aging parents. They may need your help.
Shifting your view of your parents can be difficult. Your vision of them is strong and independent. But as they age, they may not be as independent as they once were when you were younger.
Unfortunately, many aging parents don’t share with their adult children concerns about their health. Even if you visit regularly, they may hide what’s really going on with their health.
And if one parent is a caregiver, they may be overwhelmed with responsibilities. And preparing for a big family event may be too stressful for them to manage.
Don’t wait for a crisis. Take the first step and be proactive. Offer your help.
If your parents tend to say “everything is fine,” then be specific with what you are offering to do. Offer to take them shopping for the event, provide transportation, book travel accommodations, or even buy a group gift.
You may have to ask several times before your parents accept your help. Be persistent and patient, and more importantly be mindful of your words. No one likes to admit they are losing independence.
Instead of taking over the task, assist them. This strategy will take more time, but it will result in your parents feeling better about themselves. With your parents still taking the lead, they will retain their dignity.
There may be times when your parents may not acknowledge their limitations, especially when traveling. During those time, be gentle with your suggestions to help persuade them. For example, your parents may not think they need wheelchair assistance in a busy airport, but it would definitely be easier for them during the journey.
With spring, we begin celebrating with our family milestone events such as graduations and weddings. During this busy and festive time, it’s easy to become absorbed with what you need to accomplish before the big event. But if you have aging parents, you may need to shift your focus to help them. You may not accomplish everything you thought you would before the big event, but you will help make it easier for your parents to enjoy the family festivities.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include spending plan, financial plan, divorce financial review, life strategy, and professional progression. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature, and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me’.”