Taking care of an aging parent is difficult, but when the time comes to consider a facility, you may meet some resistance. The notion that you are no longer able to care for one of the most important people in your life may lead to stress and sadness all around.

The process of preparing your aging parent for long-term elder care should start before this move is within striking distance. Become familiar with some of the ways to ready your parent and yourself for this step.

Talk openly about the future

Conversations about how your parent wishes to live out later years are critical. Getting his or her input and melding it with your thoughts can work wonders in the preparation process. Schedule a time to meet with your siblings and your mom or dad to discuss a timeline with benchmarks. The earlier that you are all on the same page, the smoother the eventual transition.

Get legal documents lined up

If your parent does not have an estate plan, you must encourage him or her to create one. A comprehensive estate plan should not only include a will, but also documents critical to your parent’s end-of-life:

  • Advanced medical directive
  • Financial power of attorney
  • Medical power of attorney
  • HIPAA release

Having these at the ready during a medical emergency may drastically reduce stress.

See what options you have 

Touring long-term care facilities is one of the most recommended things that you can do to help ease tension for your parent. Seeing what is out there and having input into the process may make your mom or dad feel empowered and more at ease. Of course, it is critical to keep expectations realistic. You must have open and frank conversations about how far the budget will stretch and what kind of facility will fit it.

Planning for your parents’ long-term care does not have to dampen your close relationship. Seek out guidance from a professional who can help everyone get on the same page.