Every human follows the simple cycle of life: birth, aging, and death. Although our experiences are uniquely divine, there are certain aspects of life that remain constant among all forms of life. Caring for aging parents, albeit not a trending topic, is something that every grown person must be prepared for. Do you feel prepared to take on the task of caring for your parents?
Many people do not and the reason is because this is not a fun and fluffy conversation to have. In today’s society, the word “aging” is despised and we use every cream, lotion, and surgery to cover that up. But life is not meant to cover up all of our blemishes. Life is meant to evolve and embody the truth.
Let’s get started with the first step.
The first step is to have an open and honest conversation with your parents.
Every conversation will be different depending on the nature of your relationship with your parents.
Here’s a great first question that you need to ask yourself:
Do you know what your parents last wishes would be if they were not here?
Think of this question as an assessment to see how much you know or how much you do not know about your parents’ wishes. Your answer to this question cannot include any assumptions. It must be all facts based on words that you’ve actually heard your parents say.
Next, does your answer include the full spectrum of your parents’ wishes or does it just include 1 or 2 things? Do you truly know every single thing that your parents would like to see happen and how they would want your family to continue living?
Most people cannot answer these questions because everyone shys away from this conversation.
So if you’re ready for the truth, if you’re ready to open up this dialogue with your family in a humble and respectful way, then here are some tips to keep in mind to make the most out of this conversation:
1. Be open and compassionate.
One day, when we are older, we will want someone to take the time to understand what it is that we want. We will want someone to genuinely listen to us and honour our choices and decisions. If we want these qualities to be given to us, then we must show them to others first.
2. Do you have siblings?
Getting your siblings on the same page will only edify this conversation. It would be in your advantage to talk to your siblings or share this article with them before you sit down and have this conversation with your parents. This way, not only do your siblings feel respected and valued for being a part of this important step, but your parents can see their children coming together for a greater cause.
3. Be humble – eliminate all pride.
This conversation is not about being right. This is not about forcing our opinions and what we want on to other people. This is about taking the time to listen and understand exactly what it is that your parents wish for.
This conversation is one that is never too early to be had. Plus, it’s a conversation that can be revisited and refined throughout the years, as desires change with time.
The next step towards properly caring for your parents is to be prepared for anything that life throws your way.
How do most people react when something life changing happens?
When “life” happens, wouldn’t it be great to handle the situation in a state of control?
This is why thoughtful planning in so important.
For some people, a plan B may mean caregiving. To others, it may mean moving your parents into your house.
What will they eat?
Where will they sleep?
How will you care for all of their needs?
It’s these questions that will help us develop our plan B’s, C’s, and D’s. Remember, when it comes to caring for our parents, there is no such thing as overplanning.
As we tie things up, it’s important to see the bigger picture in life. It’s important to have perspective and to understand that there is so much more to life than just this physical experience.
What does honour mean to you?
To me, honour means to selflessly live every day for a greater purpose.
I believe that we must always show honour for our parents and our ancestors that came before us. The best way that you can show that honour is to simply be better. Do what they could not do, create what they could not, and help where they did not – not out of ego, but to uphold their legacy with a greater purpose.
If you take anything away from this article, takeaway this:
Plan gently, plan selflessly, and plan for the betterment of your family.
Make better choices today so that you do not have to pay for them later.