Asking for Help Keeps Seniors In Control

This is a companion article to The Most Important Reason to Talk to Your Parents About Their Future.

Mom and Dad were so excited to have their daughter, Anna, and her family visit. They missed seeing her and with the grandchildren nearly grown they welcomed the opportunity to hear about their dreams and aspirations.

BUT…there was so much to do to get ready. By the time the kids arrived Dad was exhausted from doing yardwork and house cleaning. Mom had a scary fall in the bathroom the week before. She only suffered a few bruises, but was still feeling the effects. They would like to hire some help for the yard and household chores, but they didn’t want to spend money on something so “extravagant.”

They often talked about moving to a smaller place, but worried about what the kids would think about them selling their home. They did not know how to start looking for a new home that would fit their needs and sorting through all the stuff they had accumulated over their 45 years of marriage seemed impossible.

Like most parents, Mom and Dad decided they would just keep their plans to themselves until “the time was right.” What they failed to see is that the time WAS right for making decisions if they wanted to remain in control. Any delay would increase their chances of having to make choices in the face of a crisis.

The circumstances and situations may be different, but the reality is, positive changes are unlikely until the unsaid is spoken. Unfortunately, families who talk about the future needs and desires of their aging parents are the exception rather than the rule.

Why do older adults delay asking for help when thinking about their current and future housing situations?

Here are three common reasons:

  • They don’t want to be dependent. Asking for help feels like the first step in losing their independence.
  • They don’t want to be a burden on their children. They feel that letting the kids know that they are “feeling their age” and want to make changes will cause their loved ones to worry.
  • They are embarrassed. They don’t want to admit they can’t keep up with chores or haven’t managed their money wisely.

Having discussions about the future can help foster feelings of independence. If there is a conversation about the reality of the current situation, steps can be taken toward achieving the desired outcome.

It seems logical that turning to family for help would make these decisions easy, but sometimes family dynamics can make the decision process more difficult.  It is important to have someone who listens without a predetermined outcome in mind, like a certified senior advisor, senior move manager or aging in place specialist.

If you think you would benefit from a conversation with someone who can calmly and confidently lead you through the process of keeping control of your future, give me a call today.