5 Things to Consider When Approaching Your Aging Parent About Their Long-Term Care Needs

Change is difficult for everybody. But it may be even more so for older adults advancing into their later years. Merely talking about necessary changes can spark strong emotions. For example, discussing the prospect of moving an older parent out of the home to provide a more manageable living situation may be overwhelming.

Imagine the stress of losing the ability to drive, and having to budget financial resources while no longer being able to work. Imagine having those choices dictated by another person. As you can imagine, it can be quite a bit to deal with for the senior.

We work with seniors and their loved ones each day on challenges like these. Let us share five things to consider when helping your aging parents approach their long-term needs.

1. Communication.

Starting the conversation before big decisions need to be made is a great way to move through the waves of anxiety that come in times of change. Talking also can help identify your aging parent’s desires and help you develop plans accordingly.

2. Denial

The overwhelming nature of certain long-term care decisions, combined with the challenges of getting older may induce a sense of resistance to change or an outright denial that such changes are necessary. For instance, they may be convinced that they have much more time to address time-sensitive decisions than they realistically have. Recognize these moments for what they are: fear.

3. Patience

Patience is of paramount importance. In no way will it serve your relationship or the practical items that need to be addressed if you lose your cool and react out of frustration. It doesn’t mean patience is always easy, but it is key.

4. Financial Concerns

Having ample financial resources can do a lot to assuage an aging parent’s eldercare concerns. However, no amount of money can resolve the fear of uncertainty. Talking to a qualified professional or consulting an elder care lawyer for planning advice is recommended to ensure vital expenses are provided for.

5. Death

Many experts recommend not talking about death even though an aging parent may have come to terms with it. Continue to talk about their “long-term” plans and decisions with an eye toward their passing. Be compassionate with them and understand the gravity of the situation.

Understandably, facing the reality of long-term care needs can be scary. With the right approach, adult children can maximize the results of their well-meaning intentions. Do not wait to contact us for assistance.

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