For many of us, the holidays are an opportunity to visit with friends and family whom we really didn’t see during the rest of the year. This is especially true of adult children with elderly parents who do not live close to one another. This holiday season you may find that your parents have changed significantly since your last visit, and not for the better.
If your parents begin exhibiting worrisome traits or behaviors, such as significant memory loss, weight loss, or other signs, you should take the time to consider what you can do to help a parent who needs you.
Discuss the legal choices.
Elderly parents should have some basic estate planning documents already prepared, such as powers of attorney and medical directives. If your parents have not completed these documents you should consider bringing the topic up for discussion and be ready to help them find a good attorney in the area to assist in the preparation of such documents and who can advise them on what other planning may be in their best interests.
Discuss the living environment.
Some parents are unable to adequately care for their home as they get older. This can lead to significant problems with home maintenance, cleanliness, and personal hygiene. If your parents have reached the point where maintaining their home is becoming too difficult, you should be ready to discuss alternatives, such as hiring a home health aide, or working with friends and families in the area to assist your parents by developing a regular assistance schedule.