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3 tips to help aging parents prepare for cognitive decline

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2024 | Elder Law |

As your parents age, it is important to have open and honest conversations about their future needs, especially when it comes to potential cognitive decline. By taking proactive steps and planning ahead, you can ensure that your parents receive the care and support they need while maintaining their dignity and independence.

There are a few tips that can help your aging parents prepare for the risks of cognitive decline.

1. Encourage regular check-ups and screenings

One of the most important things you can do is to encourage your parents to schedule regular check-ups with their healthcare provider. These visits can help detect early signs of cognitive decline and allow for timely interventions. Additionally, screenings for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia can provide valuable information and help you plan for the future.

2. Discuss financial and healthcare decisions

It is important to have conversations with your parents about their financial and healthcare wishes while they can still make informed decisions. This may include topics such as long-term care preferences, advance directives and power of attorney designations. By having these discussions early on, you can preserve your parents’ wishes and ensure that they receive the care they desire.

3. Create a support network

It is important to create a support network of family, friends and professionals who can provide assistance and guidance. This may include enlisting the help of siblings, hiring a geriatric care manager or researching adult day care or respite care options. Remember, you do not have to navigate this journey alone.

Preparing for the possibility of cognitive decline in your aging parents can be a difficult and emotional process. These tips can help you ease that struggle. Remember, the earlier you start planning, the more options you will have available to you and your family.