Planning for Elder Care: Opening the Lines of Communication With Your Aging Parents

elder care

Often, the children of aging parents avoid having the conversation about elder care for as long as possible. After all, it’s sometimes challenging for people to accept the reality that their parents– who cared for them for so many years– might eventually need care themselves. However, addressing elder care issues early on helps you to avoid being faced with tough decisions in the midst of an emergency or crisis situation. If you’re still wondering how to discuss planning for elder care with your parents, consider the following five tips:

Don’t procrastinate. Many people make the mistake of delaying the conversation about elder care, reasoning that their parents are in good health and it’s an issue that they can address down the road when they need arises. What they don’t realize, however, is that it’s never too early to have the conversation about future care with your aging loved ones. Having the discussion early on– when your parents are still healthy– allows for them to participate actively in the conversation and express their desires and preferences.

Involve other family members in the discussion. Don’t attempt to broach this discussion alone; when appropriate, bring other family members into the conversation. Of course, you’ll want to consider the family dynamics before inviting siblings and other relatives into the discussion; it’s important to ensure that everyone is on the same page with your parents’ best interest in mind. During the meeting, make sure that everyone has a chance to voice any thoughts or concerns.

Listen to your parents. It sounds simple enough, but it’s often overlooked by family members when discussing elder care:listen to your aging loved ones. Do they prefer to age in the comfort of their own home? Is there a long-term care facility they’re interested in exploring? As long as your parents are mentally competent, they deserve a voice in the planning process.

Know your options. Discussing future care with your elderly loved ones without first knowing your options isn’t going to lead to a productive conversation. Familiarize yourself with the options available in your area. Research in-home care, aging in place, adult care programs, and long-term care facilities. Look into the costs associated with various options. The more information you have, the smoother the conversation is likely to go.

Re-evaluate the situation. The plan you develop now might not be the best choice for your loved one in six months or five years. Circumstances change over time due to a variety of factors. It’s important to re-evaluate the elder care plan you’ve developed from time to time. Have your parents’ needs changed? Are you happy with the quality of care they’re receiving?

For more tips and resources about planning for elder care with your loved one, please contact us today.

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