Are you over 40 and have aging parents or are a senior citizen?
If so, then now is the best time for ‘The Talk’. Before I tell you what the talk is all about, I need you to understand that my interest in you having ‘the talk’ comes straight from the heart.
Too much time goes by and too little discussion occurs between aging parents and their adult children. When you least expect it, a parent gets sick, injured or begins showing signs of early-onset dementia. At this point, it’s too late to have ‘the talk’. The talk can be a very stressful topic, but it’s even more stressful if it’s never discussed.
So let’s start now!
- Money. What is your financial situation? Where do you keep your assets? How can an adult child access your assets in case of need? What is your monthly income from Social Security, Retirement plans or other sources? What are your expenses?
- Legal. Who has power of attorney? Are there any living wills? Trusts? Is there a will? If there’s not a will, then call an elder attorney. Having a will specifically outlining a plan will avoid potential family battles down the road.
- Care. What are your long or short-term care wishes? Do you want to stay at home with a caregiver or move into an assisted living facility? Is there an option to move an aging parent into an adult child’s home? What are your desires if you are unable to care for yourself?
- Funeral. It sounds morbid, but better late than never to discuss funeral desires. Who should be pallbearers? Who do you want to speak at your funeral? Cremation or burial? Graveside service or separate service?
The purpose is to have this exchange when life is good and everyone is healthy so that there is a clear direction when a shift in health occurs. When life changes, and a family member is ill, the stress it puts on family members is exponential. Wouldn’t it be best to minimize the stress levels by having conversations now?
Always Best Care, Plymouth Meeting, PA