Caring for Aging Parents

Caring for Aging Parents

Sep 05, 2015

Thanks to healthier lifestyles and advances in modern medicine, there are more Americans over the age of 65 than there have ever been.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that by 2030, more than 20 percent of U.S. residents will be aged 65 and over, compared with 13 percent in 2010 and 9.8 percent in 1970. As our nation ages, many Americans are turning their attention to caring for aging parents.

For many people, one of the most difficult conversations to have involves talking with an aging parent about extended medical care. The shifting of roles can be challenging, and emotions often prevent important information from being exchanged and critical decisions from being made.

When talking to a parent about future care, it’s best to have a strategy for structuring the conversation. Here are some key concepts to consider.

Cover the basics


Knowing ahead of time what information you need to find out may help keep the conversation on track. Here is a checklist that can be a good starting point:

  • Primary physician
  • Specialists
  • Medications and supplements
  • Allergies to medication

It is also important to know the location of medical and estate management paperwork, including:

  • Medicare card
  • Insurance information
  • Durable power of attorney for healthcare
  • Will, living will, trusts and other documents

Be thorough


Remember that if you can collect all the critical information, you may be able to save your family time and avoid future emotional discussions. While checklists and scripts may help prepare you, remember that this conversation could signal a major change in your parent’s life. The transitionfrom provider to dependent can be difficult for any parent and has the potential to unearth old issues. Be prepared for emotions and the unexpected. Be kind, but do your best to get all the information you need.

Keep the lines of communication open


This conversation is probably not the only one you will have with your parent about their future healthcare needs. It may be the beginning of an ongoing dialogue. Consider involving other siblings in the discussions. Often one sibling takes a lead role when caring for parents, but all family members should be honest about their feelings, situations, and needs.

Don’t procrastinate


The earlier you can begin to communicate about important issues, the more likely you will be to have all the information you need when a crisis arises. How will you know when a parent needs your help? Look for indicators like fluctuations in weight, failure to take medication, new health concerns, and diminished social interaction. These can all be warning signs that additional care may soon become necessary. Don’t avoid the topic of care just because you are uncomfortable. Chances are that waiting will only make you more so.

Remember, whatever your relationship with your parent has been, this new phase of life will present challenges for both parties. By treating your parent with love and respect—and taking the necessary steps toward open communication—you will be able to provide the help needed during this new phase of life.

1. U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 2. Note: Power of attorney laws can vary from state to state. An estate strategy that includes trusts may involve a complex web of tax rules and regulations. Consider working with a knowledgeable estate management professional before implementing such strategies.

Ken Earwood

Ken Earwood is a professional financial advisor with more than 20 years of experience serving clients in the financial service industry. CA Lic. #: OC44710. He can be reached at 16531 Bolsa Chica St. Ste. 304 HB, CA 92649.

E-mail: kenearwood@titanfinancial.net or call (714) 840-9283, ext. Securities offered through Parkland Securities, LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC.

Latest News

Sorbet Magazine Celebrates Its September Issue!

Business Showcase Sorbet Mag

Sorbet Magazine Celebrates  Its September Issue!

It’s impossible to say what we love most about our issue release parties, especially the most recent one at V...

The Escher String Quartet Opens Segerstrom Center’s 2018-2019 Chamber Music Series

Entertainment Sorbet Mag

The Escher  String Quartet  Opens  Segerstrom Center’s 2018-2019  Chamber Music Series

Thursday, November 1, 2018 in Samueli Theater Segerstrom Center for the Arts launches its 2018-2019 Chamber Se...

Segerstrom Center Kicks Off Its 2018-2019 Jazz Season With Jazz Master Ahmad Jamal

Entertainment Sorbet Mag

Segerstrom Center Kicks Off Its  2018-2019  Jazz Season  With Jazz Master Ahmad Jamal

Segerstrom Center for the Arts presents Grammy® Award Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Ahmad Jamal for one pe...

Beyond the Books Nadia Milner delivers "Top Notch Services"

Entertainment Jody Robinson

Beyond the Books  Nadia Milner delivers "Top Notch Services"

I remember when one of my college friends was appointed Payroll Specialist for a large company in Pasadena. Whe...

Ready for Open Enrollment?

Health & Wellness Sorbet Mag

Ready for  Open Enrollment?

In a few weeks, you’ll be making important choices about next year’s health plan. As you consider your opti...

Making Educated Choices for Your Loved One’s Care

Education Jody Robinson

Making Educated Choices for Your Loved One’s Care

A Q & A with Derek Mannion, founder of Alliance Eldercare You think it might be time to consider options f...

Lea Michele and Darren Criss Continue LM/DC Tour With North American West Coast Dates

Entertainment Sorbet Mag

Lea Michele  and  Darren Criss  Continue LM/DC Tour With North American West Coast Dates

November 2, 2018  in Segerstrom Hall Following the demand of fans and rave reviews, actors and musicians ...

Drug Free, Surgery Free & Needle Free: A New, Proven Treatment to Reverse Erectile Dysfunction

Health & Wellness Jody Robinson

Drug Free, Surgery Free & Needle Free:  A New, Proven Treatment to Reverse Erectile Dysfunction

A Q & A with Dr. Michael DeYoung, M.D., LaSara Medical Group Men with erectile dysfunction (ED) often suff...

Pilates and Yoga for the Neck

Health & Wellness Align Pilates Team

Pilates and Yoga for the Neck

There is no shortage of reasons why people suffer from neck pain, but primarily, the root cause is due to impro...

How Can I Tell If I Have Skin Cancer?

Health & Wellness Kristy Fleming, MD

How Can I  Tell If I Have  Skin Cancer?

People of all ages get skin cancer. Checking your skin can help you find skin cancer early when it’s highly t...

Broadway’s Smash Hit Beautiful The Carole King Musical returns to Segerstrom Center for the A…

Entertainment Sorbet Mag

Broadway’s Smash Hit Beautiful   The Carole King Musical   returns to  Segerstrom Center for the Arts

October 9 - 14, 2018 Back by popular demand, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical returns to Segerstrom Cente...

The Art of Craft @ The Brewhouse in San Juan Capistrano

Business Showcase Jody Robinson

The Art of Craft @ The Brewhouse in San Juan Capistrano

Let’s play a quick game: I’ll say a word and you write down the first thing that comes to mind. Ready? Beer...

Thinking Inside the MedBox. The New Standard in Medication Management Offers a Better Way to Dispens…

Health & Wellness Jody Robinson

Thinking Inside the MedBox. The New Standard in Medication Management Offers a Better Way to Dispense Prescriptions

In a recent conversation with my mother, I discovered something. Something that was a cause for pause as I pond...

Upcoming Events at Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Entertainment Sorbet Mag

Upcoming Events  at Segerstrom Center for the Arts

The Australian Pink Floyd Show September 6, 2018 Segerstrom Hall The 2018 Australian Pink Floyd Show Tour is ...

Segerstrom Center for the Arts Announces 2018 – 2019 Jazz Series

Entertainment Sorbet Mag

Segerstrom Center for the Arts Announces  2018 – 2019  Jazz Series

Ahmad Jamal Quartet and Shahin Novrasli Kenny Barron Quintet • Kurt Elling Christmas Branford Marsalis Quarte...

Compassionate Caregiving: Your Home Care, Inc.

Health & Wellness Jody Robinson

Compassionate Caregiving:  Your Home Care, Inc.

In-Home Care and the New! Senior Social Club & Stay Care Center in Laguna Woods Village Over the past deca...

RODAN + FIELDS: Changing Skin. Changing Lives.

Health & Wellness Jody Robinson

RODAN + FIELDS:  Changing Skin.  Changing Lives.

Friends are good for a great many things. Laughing with you, getting out of tight spots every once in a while, ...

Get Your Game Together with No Bogeys Golf

Entertainment Ann Laurence

Get Your Game Together with No Bogeys Golf

Everyone knows that you’re not supposed to pick favorites when it comes to family. But let’s be honest, we ...

Medicare: A + B = ? Where does D come in?

Insurance Denice Merrill

Medicare: A + B = ?   Where does D come in?

I’m getting so much information in the mail! What do I need to keep? I am the presenter at the Mission Hospi...

Johnny Mathis “The Voice of Christmas” Returns to Segerstrom Center for the Arts With a Speci…

Entertainment Sorbet Mag

Johnny Mathis  “The Voice of Christmas” Returns to  Segerstrom Center for the Arts  With a Special Holiday Concert

The legendary and undisputed “Voice of Christmas,” Johnny Mathis will brighten the holiday season when he r...