Supporting Aging Parents With Peace Of Mind

Sometimes part of being an adult means providing support to your aging parents, whether that means being a caregiver or helping them out financially.

While you may love your parents and feel grateful for all they’ve done for you, caring for them can also be emotionally and physically demanding.

Here are some ways to support your aging parents while minimizing your own stress and financial burden.

Understand Their Situation

Your aging parents are likely dealing with a lot of emotions around having to ask for help. Especially if they require financial assistance, they might be a little embarrassed or have too much pride to ask.

The best thing you can do is to put yourself in their shoes. Think about their condition and how they might be feeling. Try your best to be sympathetic to their situation.

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Decide How Much You Can Contribute

As badly as you want to help your parents, you have limits. You only have so much time and money, and you probably have your own responsibilities to tend to, like children of your own or a job.

Before making any commitments, reflect on how involved you’re prepared to be. And never be ashamed that it’s not enough. Everything you do to help is valuable.

Recruit Help

Don’t try to do it all yourself. If you have siblings or close family members, ask if they can contribute. If they’re willing to help, you could make a schedule online and have everyone sign up for different days.

Of course, this may not be possible for people who live out of state or can’t participate physically. In this situation, consider asking for financial support instead. The family could put together a general fund that’s used to hire an at-home nurse or home-care provider.

Focus on Financial Security

If you reach a point where your aging parents financially depend on you, then it may be a good time to reevaluate your life insurance coverage. This way, if you were to pass away unexpectedly, they’d still be protected.

Many people opt for a death benefit that’s 10 to 12 times their annual income. However, if you plan to support your parents, you may want additional coverage.

Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself

Finally, it’s important not to forget about your own needs. All too often adult children will take on too much responsibility by caring for their parents in addition to everything else happening in their lives. This can lead to stress, fatigue, conflict in relationships, or even depression. The best thing you can do is make time for yourself and practice self-care. Take time off and do things you love. After all, to help someone else you must first help

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"Dr. Harry Delany is a renowned Harlem born and raised surgeon, the son of the great jurist and civil rights leader, Hubert Delany...." This monthly post is made in partnership with Harlem Cultural Archives.

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