Living away from your family
Moving abroad isn’t easy, and neither is dealing with aging parents when you live overseas. Understanding the importance of preparation when it comes to aging parents can provide you with support, both emotionally and financially. Fortunately, there are numerous ways in which you can deal with aging parents, with the use of new technologies (and old), legal preparation and much more, to ensure you are staying in touch frequently and supporting your parents as they age. Find out more about how to deal with aging parents when you live overseas, below.
You may be far away from home, but it certainly doesn’t mean you have to break off relationships or have a distant relationship with your parents. In this day and age, you can utilise new computer technology in order to stay in regular contact with your parents, other family members and friends alike. Scheduling weekly, if not daily, Skype calls with your parents and grandparents, for example, is a convenient way to keep in regular contact with your loved ones. Depending on how social-savvy your parents are, you can even speak to them on a daily basis providing you have internet connection, over the likes of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
Go back in time
You don’t have to worry if your parents have chosen to ignore the digital age, though. For those that have not embraced the convenience of social media, there are several other ways you can stay in touch. Even though the number of over 65s that use social media has double compared to this time last year, whilst it will take more effort to stay in touch, scheduling weekly telephone calls, or sending birthday cards and letters with photographs attached, can be a very important and worthwhile means of communication when you are living overseas.
Depending on where you live abroad, how far it is away from home and your finances, another way to deal with aging parents when you live overseas is by arranging regular visits back to your original home country in your available free time. It’s a great way to see your family and your friends, and you’ll appreciate your holiday traditions more than you could ever imagine when you return home. You may even want to consider encouraging your parents and other family members to visit you in your new home country, if travelling is a possibility for them. This can be an exciting experience for both parties, as your family can experience your new life for themselves, while still being able to see you in person.
Nominate a family manager
Another way to deal with aging parents is to appoint a family manager. While this is something many people do not consider until their parents reach a much older age, if you are aware that one of your parents is suffering a longstanding medical condition which is likely to worsen as they age, by appointing a family manager, you can rest assured that you will be the first to know should your one of your parent’s health or independence begin to deteriorate. With this knowledge, you can make an informed decision as to whether the time is right to return home on a temporary or permanent basis, and allows you to give your employers notice in advance that this may be a possibility.
Help parents to plan
Whilst your parents will want to avoid ‘the chat’ at all costs, you should encourage your parents to be proactive in planning their own future as they age. You should consider discussing the possibility of your parents moving from the big family home, which could feature staircases, high maintenance rooms or impractical bathrooms and kitchens, years before moving home is actually necessary for them. Likewise, legal arrangements, such as appointing a family member as power of attorney, should be discussed in advance before you make your move abroad should anything happen to your parents and you are unable to drop everything and return home.
No matter what, it is paramount that you plan for the dreaded day that you have to say goodbye. Every expat, including yourself, must consider how and when they will return home should a parent become unwell or pass. In order to prepare for this occasion, you should do your research on the fastest route to go home, should you need to go home in a rush, and where you will access the funds in order to do this. Moreover, you should also consider how you will fill the role of your personal and professional life while you are away, and how this can be achieved at short notice so you can rest assured that in the event you need to leave abruptly, everything is in place and being handled in the most capable manner.
Go easy on yourself
It’s not easy to deal with aging parents when you live overseas, which is why it is so important to go easy on yourself. Whilst it can be stressful, you shouldn’t feel guilty about moving abroad and your decision certainly shouldn’t be influenced by your parents, siblings or other family members. Preparing for the worst when it comes to the health of your parents is important, no matter where you live around the globe.
If you would like to find out more information about moving abroad, please get in touch with a member of our expert team today.