Caring for Aging Parents – Are You Ready?

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Caring for Aging Parents – Are You Ready?

by | Jul 22, 2015

Having spent several years caring for my aging parents, there were some hard life lessons that I believe are worth sharing.  This something we all hope we can handle when the time comes, but it’s one of those things that we don’t want to think about.  Whether the time is now or somewhere down the road, there are steps that you can take to make your life (and theirs) a little easier. Some people live their entire lives with little or no assistance from family and friends, but today Americans are living longer than ever before. It’s always better to be prepared. 
​The first step you need to take is talking to your parents. Find out what their needs and wishes are. In some cases, however, they may be unwilling or unable to talk about their future. This can happen for a number of reasons, including: 

  • Fear of becoming dependent
  • Resentment toward you for interfering
  • Incapacity
  • Reluctance to burden you with their problems

If such is the case with your parents, you may need to do as much planning as you can without them. If their safety or health is in danger, however, you may need to step in as the caregiver. The bottom line is that you need to have a plan. If you’re nervous about talking to your parents, make a list of topics that you need to discuss. That way, you’ll be less likely to forget anything. Here are some things that you may need to talk about:

  1. Long-Term Care Insurance: Do they have it? If not, should they buy it?
  2. Living Arrangements: Can they still live alone, or is it time to explore other options?
  3. Medical Care Decisions: What are their wishes, and who will carry them out?
  4. Financial Planning: How can you protect their assets?
  5. Estate Planning: Do they have all of the necessary documents (e.g., wills, trusts, living will, health care surrogate designations)?
  6. Expectations: What do you expect from your parents, and what do they expect from you?

For more details on how to address some of these issues and resources you can use, please visit our website at

This information was developed by Broadridge, an independent third party. It is general in nature, is not a complete statement of all information necessary for making an investment decision, and is not a recommendation or a solicitation to buy or sell any security. Investments and strategies mentioned may not be suitable for all investors. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. member FINRA/SIPC does not provide advice on tax, legal or mortgage issues. These matters should be discussed with an appropriate professional.


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