Dec 25, 2021 Chitty Mahanivong
The festive season brings together families and important decisions
As we approach the end of another year, many people will be looking forward to the festive season and the chance to slow down and catch up with family, particularly older parents. Busy lives and distant homes can make it easy to feel out of touch. But this may be a time when adult children notice changes in their ageing parents and can also be a time for parents to take control over their future with advice and family discussions.
The signs of ageing may be distressing and worrying for many people, but they are a natural part of life, especially with our increasing longevity.
The problem is not getting old. The problem is not having an effective plan for how to grow old. This plan needs to consider strategies to ensure the home environment and care supports are appropriate, as well as how to fund quality levels of care.
Don’t wait until a crisis has occurred to take action. Planning ahead and professional advice are the keys to quality care and effective decision-making.
The journey may not be easy, and hard decisions may need to be made. Seeking objective advice from an Accredited Aged Care Professional TM can help to convert the mountain of data on aged care into meaningful and relevant information and ultimately into appropriate decisions.
It might be time for a family meeting
New Year is traditionally a time to take stock and plan ahead. And the festive season might be one of the few opportunities during the busy year for discussions with all those people who are important to you.
If you have older parents, take the time this year to raise the issue with your parents and your siblings or other family members and seek advice to start building a family action plan. If you are that older person, the festive season provides you with an opportunity to bring your adult children together to discuss your care needs. Make yourself heard whilst you are still able to maintain your control and independence and put strategies into place.
Did you know:
Many older Australians live alone, and families may not notice the decline in an older person’s ability to live independently. The festive season can be a time when families come together and have an opportunity to observe how well a parent is coping.
The value of a family meeting
A family meeting is an essential step in planning for aged care and may help to minimise conflicts within your family. Emotional conflicts between family members can make the transition to care more distressing for an older parent and have the potential to rip families apart. A well-run family meeting can allow parents, children and other family members to discuss issues and preferences, express concerns and make decisions that work for your family as a whole.
Your financial adviser* can assist with arranging and running a family meeting to help your family see the big picture more objectively. Together we can consider the options for your parents’ care, security and happiness.
The earlier you take this step, the better. Planning ahead ensures that parents are fully involved in the decision-making and removes some of the stress from other family members. With a well organised plan in place, your family can respond more quickly and effectively when an event requiring a move to aged care occurs.
* Fraser Holt and Roslyn Schnerring at rdl.financial planning are Accredited Aged Care Professionals ™