As our parents and loved ones begin to age, it is vital that you keep the lines of communication open. Navigating through these difficult conversations is never easy. However, you can make this task easier with the right amount of compassion and decisiveness. Here are three tough talks that you need to have with aging relatives.
If you are not aware of your relatives’ financial situations, now is the time to get acquainted with their money matters. Knowing this information will help you to plan future care options for them as they age. Crucial things to know include bank account numbers, retirement funds projections, debts, and insurance policies. As part of the financial discussion, you should also talk about the plans of your loved ones for a will or trust. Make sure you also know who has the power of attorney in your family. While these discussions are never easy, proper estate planning can affect generations of people, making it a vital conversation to have.
One of the most awkward conversations to have with aging relatives is how long they should continue to drive. Senior drivers have a higher-than-average rate of accidents, making it important for the safety of everyone that your relatives are in the position to still drive safely. If they are still able to drive, you should offer some tips to make sure they stay safe. You should not be afraid to press the issue of giving up driving if you feel as if they are a danger to themselves and others on the road because of poor driving skills.
Plan for Long-term Care
Nobody wants to discuss the possibility of the need for long-term care with their loved ones. While doing so may seem like an acknowledgment of defeat, these proactive conversations can actually save you headaches in the future. As seniors are living longer and longer, it is becoming increasingly more common for these individuals to need assisted living services. Knowing the wishes of your family members will help you to be able to plan accordingly and to know exactly what to do when the situation arises. One of the key issues to talk about is where the relative wants to live when they require care beyond what they can provide for themselves independently.
It can be uncomfortable to have tough talks with your aging relative. You don’t want to upset them but you want to make sure they’re getting the best care they can. Setting the right tone will help to make these talks go more smoothly. Approach every topic with the proper balance of love and concern for the best results.
If you have an aging relative and need more advice, read this other article: How to Pick the Right Nursing Home