Caring for Aging Parents: How to Help Them Plan for Retirement

A Comprehensive Caring for Aging Parents Checklist

As you begin considering how you’ll take care of your parents as they age, it can be difficult, and sometimes even overwhelming, to know exactly where to begin. After all, there are many options to consider, including everything from where they will live, to how their daily living requirements will be met. 

We hope that this caring for aging parents checklist can serve as a valuable resource as you start looking towards the future and helping your parents plan for retirement.

Your Caring for Aging Parents Checklist: 5 Tips for Retirement Planning 

1. Start With a Conversation

As is the case with any significant life decision, you should start with a conversation. In order to fully understand your parents’ wishes, sit down and talk about their hopes, dreams, and plans for the future. Doing this as soon as possible will help you get clarity on what your parents expect as they grow older. While this conversation may be difficult and uncomfortable at times, it is necessary to have. As you discuss their retirement plans, it’s essential to be respectful and empathetic of their wishes. Take the time to listen to your parents and, most importantly, remind them that they’re being heard. 

2. Ensure Their Daily Living Needs Are Met

Once you’ve had the initial conversation, one of the most important aspects of any caring for aging parents checklist is ensuring that their daily needs are met. These requirements are typically separated into two categories: activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living. Let’s take a closer look at each below. 

Activities of Daily Living

Otherwise known as ADLs, activities of daily living are the basic essentials needed for someone to function on a day-to-day basis. These activities include self-feeding, functional mobility, dressing, personal hygiene, and so on. As you begin caring for your aging parents, their ADLs must be met. First, discover where an elderly parent needs support and then assess the possible solutions to get them the assistance they need.

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living

Instrumental activities of daily living, or IADLs, are just as important to consider when caring for aging parents. Although not necessarily fundamental, IADLs refer to the activities you need to function independently. This includes cooking and preparing meals, cleaning the home, shopping or running errands, managing medications, and more. If your parents are having trouble performing any of these IADLs by themselves, this is a sign that it may be time to explore aging care options. 

3. Protect Their Wealth

Once you’ve established how your parents’ daily living needs will be met, it’s time to discuss their finances and savings. Specifically, you’ll want to take a look at various factors, such as their income, how much they spend each month, what they owe, and if they have 401(k) or IRA savings accounts. This information will give you a better understanding of their finances, allowing you to assist them better in planning for retirement.   

4. Explore Aging Care Options

Of course, no caring for aging parents checklist is complete without deciding where they will spend their days in retirement. Luckily, a variety of housing options are available for the elderly. First, it is imperative to decide whether your parents will stay in their current home, move in with you or another loved one, or retire in an active adult community. These luxurious retirement communities offer various options, such as independent and assisted living, so there is sure to be something to accommodate your parent’s specific needs and desires.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About a Continuing Care Retirement Community

5. Take Care of the Details

In addition to looking into your parents’ finances and exploring housing options, it is equally as important to take care of the other details, too. Now is the time to sit down and discuss their healthcare, insurance, wills, and so on. You should also gather a list of important records or documents, such as their birth certificate, passport, bank account information, and property ownership records. While all of this may seem tedious, making these arrangements now will set both you and your parents up for success down the road. To help you get started, here are some questions to consider: 

  • Does your parent have a will? Is it up-to-date?
  • Has your parent prepared letters of instruction?
  • Have you established a power of attorney (POA) for healthcare and finances?
  • Does your parent have insurance?
  • Is your parent’s living situation safe and comfortable?
  • Is your parent able to function independently, or do they require assistance? 

Learn More About Caring for Aging Parents at Seafields 

A caring for aging parents checklist isn’t something that can be done once — it’s an ongoing process that constantly needs to be reevaluated. While your parents may be able to live independently now, they may require more assistance and care as time goes on.

A continuing care retirement community like Seafields can adapt and manage their evolving healthcare needs in one convenient setting — giving you peace of mind that your parent’s current and future needs will be accounted for. To learn more about how Seafields can care for your aging parents through every stage of their retirement, click the button below to get in touch with a member of our team.