For many business leaders and owners of a small business, they will often be in their forties themselves or closing in on the half-century. Because of this, their parents are well into their 60s and possibly 70s for either their mother or their father. However, busy business owners have less time available for personal issues, so getting away from the job to help their elderly parents is more of a challenge than with a salaried worker on fixed hours. While people may think the CEO has greater flexibility and freedom to go to see their parents, the responsibility of their role makes that a fallacy that’s proven false.
What are the unique difficulties faced by business owners when managing a situation where their parents are struggling as they become elderly? How can it be managed well to increase their overall happiness and possibly extend their life? Below we will answer some of those questions.
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Parents Don’t Necessarily Age at the Same Rate
Firstly, but it’s not always the case, the father is sometimes older than the mother. Barring ill-health, or contributing factors to poor health such as smoking, excessive drinking, or obesity, it’s typical that a woman will live 6-8 years longer than a man. So, combining that typical situation with a father who is older than the mother, he likely will have greater needs in the early silver years.
Similarly, in the later years, the mother will need more care and assistance. Also, if the father has previously managed the home and finances, and suddenly falls into ill-health and passes away, she may feel lost for how to cope. When this is the situation, the son or daughter must be prepared for this change to occur despite the grief of losing their father.
Of course, events do not always unfold as expected, but the above is a common scenario due to age differences, typical longevity statistics, and other elements at play.
Distance from Parents is a Factor
Business owners who now live in a different state where it will require many hours to drive to their parents’ home are at a distinct disadvantage. While they may be able to fly to the nearest airport to their parents’ home and hire a car, it’s still a bit of an ordeal to get there to check up on them.
Also, for smaller homes, it may be necessary to arrange to stay in a hotel. Then they’ll be shuttling back and forth from their hotel room to their parents’ home to help out before heading back home again.
Unfortunately, most businesses are location-specific and not digital-only, and so relocating to be nearer to their parents isn’t necessarily on the cards. If there’s a factory or office at a specific location, uprooting it to another state is a complicated and costly process. Most business owners will elect to leave things are they are and travel instead and take time off work on occasion to provide more assistance as needed.
Guilt is a Possibility Too
When the business owner is unable to visit as often as they’d like due to distance, time, and their busy schedule, it’s natural for a sense of guilt to set in. Certainly, if they’re either an only child or their sibling lives an even further distance away, then the caregiver role may fall squarely on their shoulders.
Also, when the sibling or parents feel the need to apply pressure to be there more often and to do more to help, and not having the ability to get away to do so, it can create frustration or guilt. This is a natural thing, but it troubles many busy CEOs that find themselves in this unhappy situation.
Setting Elderly Parents Up for Success
Talking with parents on the telephone is useful because it provides information about their daily life and any struggles they are currently having. Because these can change, expand, or worsen quickly, it is best to keep in regular contact to stay apprised of their living situation. This way, it’s possible to react sooner.
Also, bear in mind that parents are less likely to share problems with their children until they’re past the point of discomfort for them, i.e., living with their difficulty has become worse than sharing it with their son or daughter. Hence why it’s necessary to try to respond quickly as needed.
Look at what can be arranged online to provide services that fill in the gaps for things the parents require. Many services or goods can be ordered and delivered now compared to a few years ago. Not only does this include grocery staples to save shopping trips, but it can include repeat prescriptions, and other necessary items too.
Additionally, you could automate their finances and other aspects to minimize what they have to sort out themselves.
Assisted Living Communities for Parents Who Need People Around Them
Parents who are beginning to struggle to take care of their basic needs but still have all their faculties are in a tricky spot. While a daycare nurse can help with some details, they usually have a range of things they’re struggling with that fall outside his or their remit.
An assisted living New Jersey-based community like the Brandywine Living facility offers a solution to help them do more with their lives. They can develop new friends, become more active, and get assistance when it’s needed. These types of communities give residents a new lease on life. It avoids one or both parents being cooped up and struggling at home. It’s a safe environment where they’ll be among new friends that are welcoming. There are also plenty of daily activities to participate in should they wish to do so.
These types of communities allow parents to enjoy living a happier life for longer, rather than counting down their remaining years. As such, it’s a happier outcome for them. For business owners with less time flexibility, a different approach is required when taking care of elderly parents. While they will deal with some personal struggles of their own due to necessary limitations on their free time, it’s good to know that there are always options available.