Despite 60 being the new 40, it’s never too soon to start these conversations with your parent or loved ones. Being proactive and speaking together allows everyone to understand their wishes and prevents you from making decisions for them.
Highlighted below are 5 tips to together talk about aging with ease.
1. Start now
It’s difficult to discuss financial, legal, or care matters, and discussing them with your parents likely falls last on your never ending to-do list. These are serious matters and should not be delayed till a time of crisis. Start now, in a time of health so you are prepared for the future. Delaying this “task” only adds to the stress of selecting senior housing and care.
2. Have conversations, more than once
The topic of aging is not a discussion; you should keep ongoing conversations with your parents or older family members. Facing the facts of aging is hard for both the senior and the family member and you certainly wouldn’t want to face them all at once.
3. Ask indirect questions
Losing independence can cause emotions of fear, anger, and guilt for aging adults. Seek opportunities to subtly approach the topic in a casual manner to get your parent or loved one to share their specifics. Ask for advice or share a recent experience rather than asking direct questions. Perhaps you establish your living will and share with them your decisions. Doing so allows for conversation without feeling threatening to their independence or burdensome to their family.
4. Talk beyond the money
Many feel that money is a private subject, and your parents likely agree. Thankfully, the financial talk goes beyond money. It’s not important to know your parent’s exact financials, but it is important to know how to gain access in case decisions need to be made for them. In addition to money, talk with your parents about important documents such as insurance policies, living wills, durable power of attorney, wills or trusts, social security cards, and birth certificates. If your loved one is a veteran, you’ll want to include discharge papers for all service. Work together to gather these documents and determine the best location to store, perhaps a safety deposit box.
5. Know the options
Senior housing and care are likely unchartered waters for you and your parents are scorned by the days of nursing homes and “old folk’s homes.” Talk with a Family Advocate at CareChoice to gain insight into today’s senior living world and receive guidance on options for your specific needs. Understanding community options and available resources, such as VA Aid and Attendance benefits for veteran seniors, allows you to speak objectively with your parents. You can highlight favorite events happening at communities and encourage joining! If determined that a community is the best fit, CareChoice’s Family Advocates provide complimentary guidance and accompany you and your family along community tours.
Call CareChoice (404) 402-1499 to start this discussion with a Family Advocate today!