Sensitive topics like aging, elder care and loss of independence can feel uncomfortable to discuss. Watching your parents get older and worrying about their well-being can also feel uncomfortable.
Showing your concern for your parents and suggesting planning strategies could open the door for a beneficial discussion. Starting a conversation at the right time and with the right intent might make all the difference in how your parents receive the information.
Do your research
Inadequate preparation before you mention elder care can backfire miserably. Even if you mean well, not taking the time to understand your parents’ situation might appear as though you only care about yourself and your well-being. Prior to starting a discussion, pay attention to your parents’ circumstances. Some things to consider include the following:
- What assets do they have?
- Have they mentioned wanting or needing extra help?
- Does either parent have a history of familial health problems?
- Have they expressed disinterest in life-saving measures?
When you begin the discussion, express your concern for both parents’ well-being. Tell them that out of a desire to care for them in the manner they wish, you would like to coordinate a care plan. A gentle, honest and sincere approach could improve the reception of the information you share.
Highlight the benefits
With the progression of generations, your parents will age with scores of other people. In fact, the U.S. Census projects a higher number of deaths between 2020 and 2030 as a majority of baby boomers hit age 65+. You can talk with your parents about the benefits of having an elder care plan in place. Not only will they have peace of mind regarding their care, but they can have control in making decisions about their future.
Telling your parents about the benefits of their choice to plan now may encourage them to start. Your support along the way could continue to incentivize them to keep things updated throughout the years.