Gardening with Allen

Becoming a Burden on Your Children as You Age and How to Avoid It

Many parents fear becoming a burden on their children as they age. They feel it unfair to impose themselves on their kids who have busy lives of their own and might find looking after their parents a nuisance.

There is also the fear many seniors have of surrendering their independence to their children. They balk at the idea of the relationship dynamic changing, whereby they become like children to their kids.

If this sounds like your worst nightmare, here are some things you should do:

Have your healthcare plans in order

While you qualify for Medicare after turning 65, your medical expenses are by no means a thing of the past. Original Medicare covers Parts A and B of the program, but only to a limited extent, and there are still copayments required.

These parts cover hospitalization and doctors’ visits. But what about dental, visual, and audiology cover? And you still need to pay for prescription drugs.

Russell Noga of MediSupps recommends that you choose an Accendo Medicare supplement plan, which offers additional Parts A and B coverage. With this plan, there is less likelihood of you having to ask your children to help with medical bills.

Maintain financial independence

Many parents detest the idea of approaching their children for financial support. However, it often happens to those who did not do adequate financial planning for their retirement. Social Security benefits are seldom sufficient to cover monthly expenses, and so they should not be relied upon as your sole source of income.

Contributing to a 401(k) throughout your life and having other retirement savings or investments will supplement your income. Live within your means so that your expenditure does not exceed your income.

Avoid unnecessary debts as they pass to your children after your death. Take out long-term care insurance so that any costs for in-home care or a nursing home are provided for.

Keep relationships on an even keel

When a child must take on the role of caregiver, it changes the nature of their relationship with a parent. It is exhausting, especially if your child has a full-time job and family of their own.

They might not have enough time to give you the necessary attention, which leads to resentment. Your child might also become frustrated because they spend every spare minute that they have caring for you.

As a parent, you will feel like a burden, and your child will see you as one to a certain extent. It is better to have someone else take care of your everyday needs so that relationships with your children do not become so strained.

Stay healthy

Looking after yourself is essential for retaining your independence and not relying on your children. Ensure that you have regular checkups that could help with early detection of illness. Older people are more prone to getting sick. Take prescribed medication as directed to keep you feeling well. Be honest with your children about your condition but show them that you can manage it alone.

Ask your doctor for advice about exercise and what activities you should be doing to keep fit. Join a seniors’ walking club and attend exercise classes at senior centers designed with older people in mind. If you can, join a local gym and get a personal trainer to guide you through an age-appropriate exercise routine.

Eat a healthy diet of fiber-rich, unprocessed foods free of unhealthy fats, preservatives, additives, and excessive salt. Make fresh fruit and vegetables and whole foods, such as wholegrain cereals, at the center of your diet to maintain optimal health.

Allen Wilson

Allen has been writing about gardening for over 30 years. He is a retired professor of Horticulture.

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