Have You Had the Conversation?
What’s the conversation? The conversation is a series of discussions about the future, your wishes, and what to do in the event you need assistance with health care needs.
More than 75% of parents have never discussed their preferences with their adult children. Talking about aging issues and end-of-life can be scary, but think about how scary it would be if something were to happen and no one was prepared. Save yourself and your family the worry. Even though it may be difficult, talk about what you would want in the event you became seriously ill or injured. Plan for different scenarios. Research your options. The best time to plan for future health care needs is now, when you are healthy, not in the midst of a crisis.
These types of conversations aren’t just about end-of-life. The involve answering all sorts of questions. “What options are there to help keep me at home?” “What if living at home was no longer possible?” “How will I pay for my care?” “In the event I cannot make decisions for myself, who should make them for me?”
Adult children’s reluctance to initiate this type of conversation is common, as is resistance to the topic by aging parents. Understanding and patience is paramount. But remember, your family is your “home team”, and to succeed everyone needs to be on the same page.
Some important questions to help you get started:
- In the event I become incapacitated, who do I want making medical/financial decisions for me? Do they know what I would want?
- What are my ideal aging circumstances? Where do I see myself living, at home, retirement community, somewhere else?
- Is my home senior friendly? What can I do now to make my home safer for me as I age?
- If I do need medical care, where do I go? What are my options?
- If I were terminally ill, where would I want to spend my time? Who would I want to be with?
- How will I pay for my care as I age? Do I have long-term care insurance? What will my insurance/Medicare cover?
And hey kids – this type of conversation works both ways. You are never too young to make your wishes known or to start planning for the future. In fact, talking to your parents about your wishes, your concerns, your research, can help broach the topic.
You don’t have to discuss everything at once. This type of conversation isn’t a one-time thing. It is continuous and you should revisit it as things change.
Have questions? Call 1-800-924-2273 to set up an informational visit or click here to request one now.