My parents live 1,300 miles away. I’m able to visit them maybe once a year. Because of that, I tend to rely on my memories of growing up. If you asked me to draw a picture of my mom and dad they’d be jovial and spry – like they were in their 30s. But, while they may still be jovial and loving life, they are not in their 30s anymore.
No one wants to think about their parents aging. I know I don’t. I constantly complain about my own age, my aching joints, my list of ailments that keeps getting longer… you know how it is. But rarely have I thought about the phase of life my parents are in. Examining how many years have passed since I’ve been away makes my head spin. Right now there may not be a rush to plan those things, but what happens in 10 more years….twenty…thirty? Before you know it today is yesterday and yesterday is last year. With several states between us, how can I care for them when the time comes? At some point I need to think about when and how to coax my parents to move closer.
Even coming to the realization, and accepting it myself, doesn’t make it any easier. How am I suppose to bring this up to them? I can just see it now, “So…guys… have you thought about moving closer so I can take care of you …you know…when you’re…old?” Right. Lead balloon, that’s how it would go over. Luckily I’m not the first person to face this dilemma and there are resources out there to help with the conversation.
I know my parents have always appreciated my honesty and my mother has never bit her tongue when it came to speaking up about my health, safety or future. They deserve the same consideration from me. They may decide to move closer in the future, they may decide on a different plan of action or they may get miffed at me for bringing it up (quite possible). No matter the outcome, it’s a conversation that needs to happen so that I know what I can do to help ensure their goals are met.
If you have been thinking about your parents’ future and how you can be a part of their plan, you can find resources and planning tools at Genworth Financial. You can educate yourself on Long Term Care not just for them, but for your own family as well.