Planning far ahead is not something that humans love doing. We are reactive creatures, who deal with a situation directly in front of us. But there are a lot of scenarios where we accept that it’s better to start early: taking out an RESP for barely-walking children, building an RRSP while your hair is still coloured and full, writing a will to ensure your loved ones are always protected, etc.
So how about planning for care in old age? It may seem a strange to bring up the subject with healthy and active parents – but in fact, this is the best time to bring it up. Talking about how your parents would like their senior care plan to look in any eventuality, and how it will be paid for, is much easier done when it is only a potential future issue. Waiting until one of your parents has a change in their health condition will only cause extra stress, especially if you/your siblings are left to make decisions without ability to obtain your parents’ consent.
Things you should discuss with your parents today include:
- How would they like to be cared for if/when they need it? (senior homecare, assisted living, family member care)
- How will care be paid for?
- Appoint a power of attorney, so someone is able to make these arrangements
- Clearly discuss all wishes and requests that are important to your parents.