When you were much younger your parents nervously sat down with you and had “the talk.” Now it may be time for you to have a different kind of talk with your parents- senior care talk. Although this is a different kind of talk it may not be any less awkward to initiate.

Planning ahead for the later stages of retirement can help families avoid difficult, and often costly and troublesome situations in the future. One of the more important decisions you and your parents need to consider is where they will live if they require senior care in the future.

>>See related: Adult Care- Finding and Providing the Care You’ll Need 

Primarily, do they wish to remain in their home as long as possible or perhaps move to some type of retirement community? What are the implications of the various choices for senior care and which is best for their unique situation?

At  My LifeSite we believe it is never too early to begin a dialogue with your parents about senior care, yet most families avoid doing so until it is much too late. Here are some ideas and suggestions to help you break the silence:

Starting the senior care conversation

  • Studies reveal that a large majority of households age 65+ are concerned about  becoming a burden to their adult children. Therefore your parents may be more willing than you realize to discuss this topic with you.
  • Since your parents may still be independent the discussion does not have to be difficult and emotional. Consider starting with something like this: “Mom and Dad, this house has been good to our family a long time hasn’t it? Do you think you want to live here the rest of your lives?”
  • Avoid using terms like “retirement home,” “nursing home,” “assisted living,” and “long-term care” or even “senior care.” These terms typically carry negative connotations even though many retirement communities today offer dynamic, active, and fulfilling lifestyles. Related: Can a Move to a Retirement Community Make You Healthier?
  • If you read an article or hear a story about someone who is having a difficult time taking care of a loved one you can use the story to open up a conversation with your own parents. Consider using a question such as, “Mom, what would we do if something like that ever happened in our family?”
  • If you learn that your parents have long-term care insurance and/or VA benefits you might ask them more about the purpose of those plans and how they work. This could be a good catalyst for a broader conversation about their expectations for future retirement living and senior care.
  • If you have a financial advisor that is well-versed in the retirement living landscape and long-term care- which she should be– you can mention to your parents that your advisor caused you to think about some important things that you had not considered before.

To learn more about retirement communities and closley related senior care issues click here

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