Whether he is 62 or 95 years old, taking the time to discuss some serious issues with your senior dad may be the best Father’s Day gift of all. According to a National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP survey published in the Aging/Parents & Adult Children Together booklet by the Federal Trade Commission and AARP, nearly one in four U.S. households (an estimated 22.4 million) are “now are providing care to a relative or friend aged 50 or older or have provided care during the previous 12 months.” So, make the most of this Father’s Day by setting aside some time to talk to your senior dad about his health, financial needs and retirement plans.
Schedule a checkup or health screening. The risk of developing certain diseases may increase as we age and early detection can be critical. Help your dad maintain his health by finding out if he has a primary care physician or helping him find to one and then make an appointment for a routine checkup or health screening. If your father is unable to drive, don’t forget to organize transportation for him and follow up on any prescriptions he may need.
Managing the financial future. Delving into a family member’s finances can be tricky, especially in these uncertain economic times. Unfortunately, many people lost all or a significant portion of their retirement funds when the market crashed and even if your father has a good pension plan and health benefits, it may not be enough to support him for the rest of his life. While be it may be an awkward conversation for everyone, it is important to have conversation about your father’s finances and plans for the future. You may be surprised to discover your father has already secured a place in a senior community, purchased long term care insurance and even made pre-paid funeral arrangements. Whether your dad has organized his future or needs help exploring his options, make sure you or someone else in your family has copies of any relevant records, contracts and contact information for banks, financial advisors and insurance information.
Discuss retirement plans. Whether your father is getting ready to retire or stopped working years ago, find some time to discuss his plans for the future. Does he want to relocate to a warmer climate or move closer to his children? Does he want to sell his house and move into a smaller home, condo or retirement community? Is he still good health and able to live independently or do you need to research assisted living facilities? Is he planning to travel, find a part-time job or need help figuring out what to do with all his free time? It is never to early to discuss his plans for the future.
If your dad lives in CA and can no longer maintain an independent lifestyle, take advantage of ElderLink’s free referral services to discuss the wide range of elder care services available throughout California.