Love, foresight and a plan: Supporting your aging parents

There’s one aspect of the human condition we all face – aging. The very idea of it is disconcerting for some and frightening for many. However, we all may be called upon to support our parents through their aging journey. But with early planning, you can be prepared to support them fully and take care of yourself as well.

Start the conversation early

There are those among our parents’ generation who will avoid discussions about aging. Karen Seebach, nurse advisor for a Canadian caregiver support service, advises broaching the subject as early as possible. “You need to have a conversation in advance about what they would like to do as they age. Do they want to stay in their home? Does someone have power of attorney?”1 Many will want to stay in the home they know and love.

Aging in place

Canadians are living longer on average, now routinely reaching 82 years of age.2 Most want to remain in their homes. If you’re to be a caregiver, keep these 5 key questions in mind as you start a plan.3

  1. Health. What can your parents do today to maintain good health into the years ahead?
  2. Home. What should be considered? Do they own or rent? Can they maintain their mobility? Will they be able to afford services like yard care and house cleaning? If necessary, will they need to modify their home to include a ramp or other potential mobility aids?
  3. Transportation. Will they continue driving or is there someone who can drive them? Can they safely walk or cycle? Is public transit an option?
  4. Finances. How much has been set aside? Can they afford the lifestyle they expect or will they need financial assistance? Are they willing to take financial advice?
  5. The community. For active aging, a community must have certain essentials in place. From a coffee shop to a pharmacy, health support to recreational services, an age-friendly community is best for our aging parents.

Take good care of yourself

Equally important is to set aside enough time and energy to devote to your own needs. Caregivers can get so focused on the tasks at hand that they neglect their own well-being.4 Factor this into your plan. Then stick to the plan so your parents can always expect the best of you. And remember that Engineers Canada-sponsored Term Life Insurance can be an essential component of a plan that helps ensure your loved ones are financially secure in the event of your passing.


1 Readers Digest, “How to Care for Aging Parents: Strategies for the Sandwich Generation”, January 12, 2022.
2 Macrotrends, “Canada Life Expectancy 1950-2022”, 2022.
3, “Thinking about your future? Plan now to age in place – A checklist”, April 12, 2022.
4 BC Government, “Caring for the caregiver”.