As the child of an aging parent, it can be difficult to initiate a conversation about what their future may hold. Talking about a time when your parent may no longer be able to care for themselves can be tough, so many people simply avoid discussing these unpleasant scenarios. However, we never know exactly what the future may hold, and your parent may suddenly experience a decline in cognitive function or suffer a debilitating health event, requiring you to make important decisions about their care. We recognize how challenging it may be to start a discussion with your aging loved one about their long-term care, so here a few suggestions for breaking the ice.
Start By Expressing Your Support
While it may be tempting to dive right into the details of long-term care planning, it’s a good idea to take some time to express your support for your aging loved one. Frame the upcoming conversation as originating out of love and kindness, and share that this process is designed to ultimately empower the aging individual and give them control over their future. Remind them that you’ll be there to go over each step if they would like your help, and that this process doesn’t have to be completed all at once.
Encourage a Conversation About Values and Beliefs
A major part of creating a solid long-term care plan is to identity and articulate one’s core values and beliefs. Encourage your parent to talk about their personal concerns, anxieties, and goals for their remaining years so that these statements can inform the long-term care planning process. For instance, is it important to your parent that they remain at home for as long as possible? Or are they concerned about growing lonely? Depending on their answer, an in-home caregiver or group home setting may better address their needs and goals.
Revisit This Conversation Often
Once you’ve helped your parent explore their long-term care planning options and determined a variety of strategies for supporting their needs as they age, it’s a good idea to remind your parent that discussing these topics should be an ongoing process. Their needs will likely shift as they grow older, especially if their medical needs require skilled care. Encourage your parent to contact a trusted long-term care planning attorney if they need more information or reassurance at any point along the way.
Legacy Law Group is committed to helping aging individuals and their families explore their long-term care planning options in the Spokane Valley area. Call (509) 315-8087 today to get started.