Talking About Elderly Care Early-Why it’s Important

6/14/2016

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Discussing health, housing, and financial topics with a parent can be stressful for all parties involved-but it certainly doesn’t have to be. There are, of course, many topics to go over – from your parents needs, which you both may view differently, to how and who will be paying for elderly care. The key to breaking down walls and removing the stress from these conversations is to have them before your parents actually need elder care.

Waiting until your parents are in need of care will cause added stress because of the wide range of decisions to be made, and ones which will affect their lives permanently. Planning anything in life is crucial to success. If you plan ahead by saving money for retirement, preparing a will, and making future financial plans, than why wouldn’t you also plan your parents care?

Topics will range from the following: when your parents will begin to need care, how much care they may or may not require, the cost and who will incur it, the responsibility and roles of each family member, and more. These conversations do not have to happen all at once but they should happen with parents and all responsible parties present, should remain on topic, and be in the best interest of your parents and their needs – you are after all their advocate.

Listening to their concerns and making lists is a great way to validate their concerns and also to keep track of questions and concerns. If there are disagreements, they can be tabled and come back to at a later time. This is the wonderful part about having those conversations early; you’ve taken out the urgency to finalize anything and given all parties time to do research.

Addressing elderly care early also allows the idea of needing assistance to sink in with parents. Needing immediate care without planning can be stressful because you are drastically changing your living arrangements and independence without time to adjust and mentally prepare. Many parents resist care, which can be understandable, but having multiple conversations and having all questions answered and understood will make transitioning to elderly care situations easier. Early planning is the key to having a stress-free elderly care conversation.

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