Thinking about looking after your aging parents

As we grow older and become more responsible we take on huge amounts. We have onerous jobs. We start families. We want to travel and see the world. We save for when we are older. We also become increasingly aware that we have rapidly aging parents who we may well need to look after. Ideally speaking, your parents will have done enough planning and saving to ensure that they are covered for in their dotage, but this is not always the case. Bad investments, bad planning, irresponsible spending or simply living to be much older than they ever anticipated are all reasons why your elderly folks may suddenly become a burden on you. If this is a situation that you find yourself if, ten here are a few things that you might want to consider.

Be the son or daughter that you want to be

In their hour of need it is hard to imagine many children turning their backs of their parents. But of course, this does depend on the relationship that you have enjoyed with your parents over the years. If you see it as you chance to give back to the people who gave you so much, then you won’t want to hold anything back. You may well want to consider having them come and stay with you. Perhaps not in the house with you and your family, but in their own place on the property. Many people think that this is prohibitively expensive, but it doesn’t need to be. A quick online search for something like ‘granny flats Victoria’ will show you that kit homes can be purchased and installed for very competitive prices. It could be the answer to your problems. Grandparents on the property but in their own home, translates to space and security and a babysitter who is very easily accessible.

Be honest

Sometimes no matter how much you want to keep your parents close and look after them, it is not the right option – either for you or for them. If they have reached the situation where they require proper care, then you need to look at an assisted living solution. Conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia all require specialist care that you simply cannot provide – and still work and look after your children. You want to ensure that your parents are looked after as well as possible but not at the expense of your own health or mental sanity.


As much as you might want to take your parents in, you must make sure that this is a decision that is made collectively with your spouse. Having in-laws on the property or contributing towards their welfare can be both stressful and divisive. Especially if your partner also has expectations of you taking in their family as well. How much burden can you carry? What solutions can your parents arrange for themselves and how much help are you getting from your siblings? These are all things that need to be considered and are conversations that need to take place. Make sure that they do, because the collapse of your marriage is not worth a few years of relative comfort for your parents.

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