Challenges of caring for aging parents


9209134_sAdult children don’t want to think about it and, all too often, their parents don’t want to talk about it, however every day, hundreds of thousands of Canadians are suddenly thrust into an unfamiliar world of caring for an aging parent because they have put off planning for the inevitable.

Caring for aging parents can be overwhelming. When an elderly parent is no longer able to be fully independent or needs more help, how do you find out what you need to know to effectively care for them?  Missteps due to lack of knowledge have long lasting, expensive, and even endangering consequences.

If you are an Adult Child, dealing with a senior parent with Chronic Health issues, do you know the steps or resources to guide you and your parents as they age further?

The following are questions you need to find answers to, before a crisis happens:

  • Are you concerned that your aging parent or loved one is no longer safe in their home?
  • Can your parents stay in their home with intermittent care ?
  • Do you know what in home care options and support is provided by the Government, Alzheimers Society, the Red Cross , CCAC -Community Care Access Centers (, the Arthritis  Society?
  • Do they need a retirement residence, now called “Assisted Living”, or a nursing home?
  • Do you need to sell the family home?
  • If so, do you know how much is needed for alternate accommodation including additional heath care costs?
  • What will be the financial burden of caring for an elderly loved one? Are there emergency funds in place if needed?
  • What are the legal issues surrounding handling their finances? Are appropriate Powers of Attorney and Wills in place? NOTE: Did you know if an individual has dementia or Alzheimer’s, these cannot be changed?
  • How do you organize and downsize a lifetime of “things”?
  • If you sell the family home, how do you ensure the proceeds are safe and will last?
  • How do you manage with all the doctor’s appointments and other daily issues?
  • How do you take control after years of your parents doing it all on their own?

Once issues are identified, the first step is to have a family meeting to manage the challenges of aging and work together as a family. This will help you prepare for a more certain future and understanding the full range of issues around your aging parent. It will reduce uncertainties and open up conversations that often lead to positive changes in family dynamics.

Throughout the meeting, it is important to listen. One of the biggest fears of an aging individual is losing independence and familiar surroundings.

Bringing up assisted living may be a difficult one, however initially many families are happy to help their loved one by checking up on them, making meals, helping with the bills, etc. , but as time goes on and lives get busy, this takes a toll.

If a loved one moves into an assisted living community, time can be spent actually visiting, sharing their lives and making new memories together. The change in quality of life can be impactful.

Sometimes people are reluctant to explore senior communities and learn what assisted living is really about. Often they do not know what questions to ask. You need to know all the options that are available so that when the time comes an informed choice can be made. Many facilities welcome visits and offer complimentary meals and even overnight stays.

For more tips to assist you manage the challenges of aging or to sign up for a future seminar on the topic of AGING PARENTS: The Family Survival Guide, contact Heather at or 416-527-2553.

Heather Holjevac is an Elder Planning Counselor and has presented seminars on the topic of AGING PARENTS: The Family Survival Guide with the Alzheimers Society and the Toronto Public Library’s -Ask the Expert Series.

Compiled by Heather Holjevac, Senior Wealth Advisor TriDelta Financial

Planning your funeral


At TriDelta Financial we believe in life balance and planning, which requires addressing those ‘not so pleasant’ aspects along with the fun stuff. Planning a funeral is one of these important realities and we asked Glen Oaks Memorial in Oakville to provide some planning insight:

Although everyone agrees that a baby shower, birthday celebration, wedding, vacation or even a picnic requires planning. People seldom consider planning ahead for one of the most important events in their lives.

Death is a 100% certainty – it’s a natural part of life. But your death will inevitably bring loss and sadness to those who love you. By planning your own funeral now, you can ease the burden on your loved ones in the future.

Planning now means you make the decisions

There are countless decisions to be made when a funeral is being arranged, from choice of flowers to choice of cemetery. When you plan ahead you can decide on every detail yourself without any pressure. In fact, planning your own funeral can be as satisfying as planning for any other important event in your life. You can make sure the arrangements are exactly what you want, and your family won’t have to guess what your wishes may have been.

Some final decisions really should be yours

Burial? Cremation? Deciding how to manage your remains is one of the most wrenching decisions your loved ones must make. By pre-planning, you can make an informed choice. And your family can take the time now to discuss ideas openly, while minds are clear and focused.

Financially, it makes far more sense to plan ahead

Family members often feel emotionally pressured to overspend on funeral arrangements. By taking control of the costs today, not only will you relieve your family from those pressures, you could save your estate thousands of dollars, allowing you to leave an even greater legacy.

Even if your estate will provide the funds for your funeral, it still makes financial sense to plan now.  By making your investment in today’s dollars, you’ll protect your estate from inflation rates in the future. In fact, your investment in pre-planning is guaranteed. Legislation requires funeral and cemetery companies to put monies received for a pre-arrangement into a trust account held by a financial institution that has Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation depositors’ insurance. Or you can purchase insurance to fund your pre-arrangement.

The right time to plan your funeral  is now, which will provide peace of mind.

To get started, click here to request your free Estate Planning Kit today or call Chuck Duchesnay at (289) 351-1040.

Article compiled by Chuck Duchesnay, Branch Manager, Glen Oaks Memorial Gardens & Reception Centre, Oakville, ON.



Less Than half of Canadian Adults have a Will


According to a survey conducted by Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Co, the majority of Canadian adults don’t have a Will, which can be more problematic than you think. 

If you die without a Will, you are considered to have died ‘intestate’ which enables the government to decide how your estate will be settled.  These rules may result in the distribution of assets to certain family members that you might not have intended to benefit.



Surviving spouse, no children


100% of the estate goes to the spouse.

Surviving spouse, one child


Spouse receives preferential share of the estate plus half of the residue of the estate; the other half goes to the child.

Surviving spouse, more than one child

Spouse receives preferential share of the estate plus one-third of the residue; the children share the remaining two-thirds.

No spouse, one or more surviving children

The children share the estate equally.

No spouse, no children, surviving parents

The deceased parents get 100% of the estate.

No spouse, no children, no surviving parents

All living brothers or sisters of the deceased share the estate equally.  If no brother or sister is living, all nieces or nephews share the estate equally.

No living blood relatives

Estate goes to the provincial government.


To ensure your estate is distributed according to your wishes, have a Will prepared and keep it current.

The basics

A Will names an executor and back up executor who will settle the deceased financial affairs.  Depending on financial circumstances and family dynamics, a corporate trustee can be named rather than an individual.

Care should be taken when selecting an executor.  They should be willing and able to do the job when the time comes, be able to deal with family members fairly & objectively, and know enough about the testator’s financial affairs & instructions in the Will to make informed decisions.  If trusts are involved, they may have to act as executor for several years.

A Will also includes the deceased’s instructions on how assets are to be distributed after death.  Only assets that flow into the estate are covered by the Will, however all assets need to be considered so that the estate produces the desired results.

It is possible to write your own Will, known as a Holographic Will (must be in the hand writing of the testator), or to use a pre-printed form generated by computer software and signed in front of two witnesses.  However, I recommend having a formal Will prepared by a lawyer.  It is money well spent to ensure your wishes are executed properly.

Will preparation forms part of our Financial Planning process.  

Contact me by clicking this link Brad Mol, to get your free copy of our ‘All in One Place Financial Guide’.