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Taking care of Mom and Dad

Like many Americans, Texans struggle with caring for their aging parents while trying to manage their own lives. Many people find themselves relocating their parents or traveling back and forth in order to take care of them. Grown children often find caring for their aging parents challenging, especially because they usually have more to worry about beyond the cost of healthcare, such as restricted job mobility as well as emotional and physical pressures.

Some who have gone through caring for aging parents via long distance suggest moving sick parents closer to their children who are caring for them, especially because they will most likely need someone to speak with their doctors on their behalf. In addition, aging parents might need advocates should they require nursing home care. An important thing to remember is that not everyone is perfect, and not everyone will be happy with every decision that is made.

Although the subject of money may be a delicate one, adult children may feel they need to take care planning and managing their parent's finances. One planner suggested keeping an open dialog between adult children and their parents, including children keeping track of what certain accounts are worth. In some cases, older people have fallen prey to scams because they had no one to look after them.

Having a conversation with parents regarding health and life care planning for their elder years is neither easy nor joyful, but it is often necessary. Opening up a discussion concerning health care proxies and final directives can be beneficial for parents and their children. By planning, parents can be assured that their wishes will be carried out and children would be able to understand and follow their parent's wishes the best they can.

Source: Market Place, "Taking care of aging parents, from a distance", Paul Sullivan and Kerry Donahue, November 19, 2013

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