Nelson Mandela’s birthdate 18th July is celebrated Internationally – a day recognised by the United Nations as a tribute to the legacy and values of Nelson Mandela.

This annual event calls to each world individual to action something of their grace and power to help transform the world to be a more caring, compassionate, respectful and loving place.

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead” (Nelson Mandela)

In our caring world, we assist many elderly, Dementia and frail patients in their homes. We embrace the love and respectful words that Nelson Mandela shared on the topic of aged.

In keeping with Mandela Day and as per the above quote, we tend to focus on others (outside our inner circle), and then due to circumstances, we may need to focus on the people closer to home, our elderly parents.

Many of us are at that age when our parents are in their golden years and we may be required to assist our parents to live out a good quality of life.

Does your retirement or long-term plans include your parents? It probably should.

Chances are good that they may be counting on you to handle their affairs if they die or become incapacitated even if they don’t say so.

Here are some questions to ask yourself about taking on the role of caring for your parent/s.

  • How confident are you that you have everything you need to handle that role effectively?
  • Do you know their wishes regarding life-prolonging care?
  • Have they given you power of attorney?
  • Will they have adequate resources to pay for the cost of their care?

Many parents are reluctant to discuss these things with their children because they think they are private matters, they fear losing control, or they want to appear to have it all together.

“Jack Tatar” created a checklist that can assist with starting a conversation between adult children and parents about retirement and aging.

Although this is a difficult conversation to have, it is a necessary one and start the conversation by:

  • MAKE A LIST of all financial accounts, Insurance policies and any legal documents, will, estate plan, etc.

Make sure they are all in order, beneficiaries have been updated, they provide the appropriate benefits and simplify where possible.

The next one is crucial and that is the:

Home care image

  • LIVING ARRANGEMENTS
    • Is the current housing situation suitable?
    • Do any changes, updates or modifications need to be made to the house?
    • Have they made contingency plans for illness, disability or death of a spouse?

In the event of an illness or disability, A-Motus can provide home care services for Dementia and disabled supportive care as well as elderly/companionship care in the event of a parent losing a spouse.

    • Is there money available to pay for those contingencies (e.g. savings or long-term care insurance)?

The last part of the checklist is:

  • THE HEALTH OF YOUR PARENTS

    • Make a list of their doctors as well as any medications they are taking
    • Help coordinate benefits between care providers and insurance companies

Becoming a parent to your parent is never easy, and you owe it to both them and yourself to get things in order.

Proper planning will give peace of mind and help avoid family conflict and minimize the financial impact on everyone involved.

“TAKE ACTION or INSPIRE CHANGE” with regards to an elderly person or loved one this month.

CONTACT A-Motus to assess the suitability of your home if part of your plan is to have your parent live with you or to provide any of the required home care services that you may need.

CALL Amanda Jeffrey on +27 83 459 6763