Approximately, 2/3 of the population over the age of 65 in America have yet to discuss long-term care or other aging issues with their family members. It’s a sensitive, but necessary, conversation that needs to be had before it’s too late and becomes a crisis situation. It’s a conversation that adult children often have trouble beginning, and one that Mom and Dad would prefer to put off as long as possible.
At Heart 2 Heart 4 Seniors, we take pride in helping you and your loved ones with beginning the process of discussing a loved one’s future regarding assisted living. Timing is everything, especially when beginning a family conversation on the topic of long-term care. Of course, the best time to have that conversation is hopefully years before the need comes.
During a stressful situation, such as a medical emergency, or the early death of a loved one, can create an even harder hurdle to jump.
For most seniors, the easiest time to sit down with their grown children is while you are still feeling in control, feeling “young at heart.” In other words, while you can make decisions about yourself, and more importantly, make the decisions you need to make for yourself. Share your wishes with your loved ones. Tell them about important decisions or concerns you have, and of course, make sure they are aware of any financial plans you’ve made for your future retirement and/or assisted living. Share any long-term care policy you’ve acquired, and discuss, as a family, the range and limits of what the policy will, and will not, cover when the time comes.
Creating a living will, and a written directive for your healthcare wishes is another important avenue that needs to be addressed. It is relevant to authorize someone in your family to have access to all your medical records and history. It is quite simple to do this, just sign and date a written request, have it notarized, and give it to your doctor office to keep on file. This will help in the eventual process to come.
For the most part, a long-term care conversation is initiated by the adult children of an aging parent. We at Heart 2 Heart 4 Seniors, believe if there are several siblings in a particular family, it is recommended that the siblings come together first to decide who among them should lead the conversation. If there are siblings living in other states, who won’t be able to make the family conversation, any serious points to be involved in the conversation should be discussed beforehand, as well as any expectations that shall come from the outcome. This will ensure everyone is on the same page and working together to give Mom and Dad the support they will need.
Ideally, the family should have the conversation before the need for assisted living arises. If not, Heart 2 Heart 4 Seniors is here to help aid in the discussion. Our Senior Transition Specialists often lend that necessary neutral voice that a delicate family situation requires. They can promptly assess a senior’s level of needs and they can pin-point any dangerous or unhealthy habits occurring in the home, and help the family to establish an efficient timeline for transition of care. This is not so much about planning for the “end of life” as it is about preparing for the best possible “Golden Years” for yourself or for your loved one.
Please contact us, Heart 2 Heart 4 Seniors with any questions, concerns, or more information.