Age is the one thing that continues increasing no matter how young we look. Growing old is inevitable and it has quite the impact on families. Those that are married get to their prime just when their parents start to require more help. Sickness becomes a regular predicament and if not, age begins to catch up with them. Individuals who are only kids or maybe the eldest in the family may bear the brunt of such situations more severely because there isn’t anyone else more suited or willing to help.
You see your parents as these invincible characters when you are growing up and you maintain that image of them for the longest time. It is hard and almost impossible to imagine them sickly or dying and this keeps you from planning for such things. Unfortunately parents get old and/or sickly and taking care of them may fall upon you or your spouse. Have you thought about how you would deal with such a situation? This is something that can put a lot of strain on a relationship and that is why it is best to come up with a plan in advance when you are both sober and thinking objectively.
Read on for the different aspects of this conversation you will need to consider.
- What your partner thinks
People have different opinions about life and you shouldn’t assume that your partner will have the same opinion as you on this. Talk to your partner and find out what they think about taking care of aging parents from either side. Would they take in their parent? Would they let you take in yours? Do they have to consult someone else to make that decision? Will they consider your opinion on the matter?
- What care options are available
What mode of care will the aging parent receive? Will you bring them into your home and personally take care of them, will you employ a nurse for them or maybe take them to a nursing home? Is taking care of them even on the table in the first place?
Imagine having such a discussion on the day your mother broke her hip and she can’t stay home alone. It can be very rough and lead to unnecessary fights.
- How far your partner should go
Many people get territorial about taking care of their parents just like the way they would about their children. The other partner may also just take a step back and let you do all the hard work. Very soon your life will begin to look like Superman or Wonder Woman. You’re not well equipped though and you eventually get exhausted. Would you want your partner to help you out and, if yes, to what extent?
Find out whether your partner would bathe, entertain, and take care of them in general without much fuss.
At this point your aging parent is incapable of contributing financially but how much are you willing to contribute to their support? How much will you and your partner be comfortable taking out of your regular budget to meet these needs?
Remember money is one of the reasons people get divorced and it ranks very highly so don’t assume that it doesn’t have room to kill the buzz. Talk about it and come to a common figure.
- Your relationship
A sick family member can leave everyone so busy and exhausted. This may cause a rift in the union and you slowly start to drift apart. Talk about this possibility and come up with ways to make the relationship better and keep it in check. You can even consider housekeepers for short periods so that you can take a break and do something with each other.
Taking care of an aging parent can take its toll on a marriage but planning in advance can very well be the difference you need. Talk these important things out and find some common ground.