As we are growing up, our parents help us during the early stages of life. They protect us from harm, provide us with food, clothing, a place to live and so much more.
However there will come a point in time when we stop being the child and become the caregiver for our elderly parents. It’s a time for us to give back and help them through the final stages of life.
Aging brings many changes but one thing we all have in common, at any age, is the need for connection, a sense of purpose and that we will all die someday.
If it hasn’t happened already, chances are you’ll be called upon to help an ageing parent and talk about their fears at some point. Although it can be a confronting prospect, it can also an honour to help them plan a good goodbye.
As adult children, helping our elderly parents at end of life can provide a valuable opportunity to assist them say goodbye without regret, and to create priceless memories for you to cherish once they’re gone.
Before they die
No one can stop the march of time and what aging takes from us. But we can step up our efforts to stay in communication, visit as much as we can and talk about good times. We can create experiences, to accommodate an aging parent’s impairments, that all can enjoy.
As no one guarantees us a tomorrow, consider that promoting small joys may be the best thing you can offer an aging parent in the waning years or months of their lives. Sometimes it’s the only thing you can offer than makes a difference to them. They will feel that connection to you that leads to happy feelings.
They may never say it out loud. But it is part of our shared human experience to be connected socially. And for you, the sibling, doing these things will give you a sense of peace after your aging parent is gone. You can look back and know you contributed to that person’s happiness and sense of connection, when they are alive. It is well worth your efforts.
Start end of life planning
Once adult children have had an opportunity to discuss end of life planning with aging parents, there are specific documents which should be set in motion to ensure final wishes are followed through.
Having a will is helpful in that is allows the parent to list an executor – the person who will be responsible for managing the transfer of assets and paying debts when the parent passes away. A will also offers an opportunity to list out specifics for final arrangements, detailed beneficiaries, and the distribution of other personal property to heirs.
The Advanced Health Care Plan
It may also be beneficial to create an advanced directive and establish a power of attorney in the event a parent is incapable of making decisions about their treatment or care.
For those with elderly parents, discussing death and the funeral is not an easy or straightforward task. Creating a path to clear and honest communication, along with understanding a parent’s funeral wishes takes patience as well as knowledge of what should and can be planned out in advance.
Taking these steps to discuss end of life planning with an aging parent can decrease the level of stress and confusion that often takes place when a loved one passes away.
eziFunerals supports individuals and families cope with end of life decisions, death and funerals. We are an independent, Australian-owned and operated company. We are not part of any other funeral company.
Our member Funeral Directors operate in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Australia wide. Thet are chosen for their knowledge, quality, service, personalisation and experience. They go above and beyond, and will take the time to support the family.
For more information or to make contact with a trusted Independent funeral director, call eziFunerals on 1300 236 402 or visit www.ezifunerals.com.au.