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Having the Talk – 5 Tips for Discussing Your Aging Parents Future

 

Discussing your aging parents future while they are still healthy allows you to better understand their wishes. Doing it later might cause complications between you and your parents, as well as other family members.

As your parents get older, it’s important to discuss the future with them. If you’re like many adult children, though, you dread having “the talk.” It’s never any fun to talk with an aging parent about the possibility that they might lose their health or independence, but if you want your parents to have the best possible care and quality of life in their twilight years, you’ve got to communicate with them about what they need and want. Make the conversation a little easier by keeping these five pointers in mind.

 

Take a Walk in Their Shoes

1. Put Yourself in Their Shoes

 

Getting older isn’t much fun for anybody. It can be frightening and depressing, even for people who stay relatively healthy as they age. With this in mind, be sensitive to your parents’ feelings when you approach them. They may not want to admit that they’re non-disabled or capable as they used to be. Use a tactful approach, and take a positive (but realistic) tone as much as you can.

 

Talk with your siblings

2. Talk With Your Siblings

 

Unless you’re an only child, your siblings will probably need to have a hand in your parents’ care, too. Make sure you’ve got them on board before you introduce any relevant topics with your parents. You may need them to back you up, especially if your parents don’t want to cooperate on issues such as giving up the car keys. If you’ve had problems with your siblings in the past, it’s a good idea to reach out and make amends before you have to make any joint decisions about your parents’ care.

 

Set Goals for Your Talk

3. Set Goals for Your Talk

 

You probably won’t have a productive conversation if you don’t know what you want to achieve. Worse, you could upset your parents, making them less inclined to talk to you in the future. Avoid this by making a road map for your talk ahead of time. Write down the main issues you want to cover, the points you want to make, and the information you need from your parents. If you organize your thoughts, this will help keep the conversation short and prevent you from rambling or putting your foot in your mouth.

 

Find the Right Angle

4. Find the Right Angle

 

The angle you take can make all the difference in how your parents respond to you. You know your parents better than almost anyone else, so think about what strategy will work best with them. In general, emphasizing your concern and care for your parents – rather than your parents’ frailty – is the right approach. You could also tell your parents that you want to prepare for the worst-case scenario, which might help them feel a little less threatened by the discussion.

 

Make it an Ongoing Conversation

5. Make It an Ongoing Conversation

 

The older your parents get, the more their conditions will change. So, you will need to continue to reevaluate their health and well being. Don’t think that a single conversation will take care of all the future planning you need to do. Instead, sit down with your parents once or twice a year and have a chat about how they’re doing and what they need. You’ll understand your parents’ situation better when you check in with them regularly, and your conversations will be less awkward, too.

 

Discussing Your Aging Parents Future – Conclusion

 

Don’t put off discussing your aging parents future. Aging isn’t always an easy thing to discuss, but the longer you wait, the more difficult the eventual conversation will be. It’s also important to know what kind of care your parents want, just in case something happens. Put your mind at ease by talking to your aging parents as soon as you can.

Applewood Our House has four residential assisted living homes for those with memory care needs.

Applewood Our House has a Better Business Bureau A+ Rating.

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