How do you talk to elderly parents about finances and long-term care?

6 Comments

Q: How do you talk to your elderly parents about their future care, finances, housing, etc.?

A: Great question and one that way too many families avoid until it is too late.

In our culture we plan for everything; beginning of life, where are children will go to school, our careers, major purchases, just about anything – we plan for. Sadly "the talk" eludes most conversations.

You need to be pro-active and set up a time and have a meeting. This is best done before your parents are too old to make these decisions for themselves. Cover all aspects of this subject: Power of Attorney, Medical Directive, End-of-life wishes, long-term care insurance, anything and everything.

It is in the best interest of your parents, not to mention yourself to have this conversation. It doesn't have to be morbid at all. Your parents, (unless they are quite unique) will more than likely not bring this subject up; it falls on you.

If you have a sibling, it's a good idea to have everyone involved. Once all documents are in place, put them in "the drawer." I believe in creating a special drawer where everything you need is there, so that when the time comes, no one is left wondering what to do. Be a responsible family when it comes to caring for your parents and your life will be infinitely better because of it.

Cindy Laverty is a Caregiver Coach and Founder of The Care Company, an online support website for family caregivers. Through programs, coaching and products, Cindy is dedicated to empowering family caregivers.

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6 Comments

My Mother refuses to do anything. She is 88. WE all saw her attorney together about a year ago and discussed doing the above on the guidance and support of my Mom's attorney. Now my Mom things because she spoke to her attorney about it then, she's all set..."Jack knows what I want to do". We can't dissuade her. It is really frustrating sometimes when you have given up a chunk of your life and the parent does not want your help. At the same time we just have to sometimes smile and accept the moment. Another is sure to come offer ing another opportunity for different choices.
My Mother refuses to do anything. She is 88. WE all saw her attorney together about a year ago and discussed doing the above on the guidance and support of my Mom's attorney. Now my Mom things because she spoke to her attorney about it then, she's all set..."Jack knows what I want to do". We can't dissuade her. It is really frustrating sometimes when you have given up a chunk of your life and the parent does not want your help. At the same time we just have to sometimes smile and accept the moment. Another is sure to come offer ing another opportunity for different choices.
My dad is 92 and up until a year ago,drove and did as he pleased. Now he has demensia and find out he rarely wrote checks for anything,he would just pay cash. My question is what will happen when he runs out of funds and has to go on Medicaid? If he needs long term care.What a mess!!!