Do you know the three most uncomfortable conversations an adult child can have with their senior parents?
They are in order: taking away their parent’s car keys, discussing with their parents end of life plans, and talking with their parents about sex.
In fact, adult children are so concerned about these issues that 94% of those surveyed predict such conversations will be uncomfortable and 25% of all adult children will avoid having these conversations with their parents, even despite their concerns for their parent’s safety.
As a senior parent you can probably avoid the conversation about sex with your adult children. However, it’s vitally important to you and your children to discuss life care and end of life issues.
We urge you to be pro-active and to initiate these conversations with your children. That’s the best way to ensure you get the help you need, and that your desires and wishes concerning these issues are fulfilled.
Start the conversation before there is a crisis. Sit down at a kitchen table or in a comfortable setting and share with your children your desire to discuss care issues as you age.
Make sure you are prepared for such a conversation with your children. Some of the topics you may want to cover include:
- Financial issues
- Medical care
- Independent living vs. assisted living centers
- Aging and personal care issues
- Household care and maintenance
- End of life issues
- Friends and social activities
- Personal emergency response systems
Tell your children that you love them and will need their assistance to some extent as you get older. Then begin the conversation by addressing these issues in their order of importance to you.
Remember, you don’t need to cover everything in one day or make decisions all at one time. The important thing is to begin the discussion in an open, direct manner that’s productive for you and your kids.
Make sure your adult children are aware of easy ways they can help care for you and your home. Home automation systems can allow your kids to ensure basic household functions are happening as designed. They can (if you’d like) also allow your kids to view in real time what’s happening inside your home from their phone, tablet or any web-enabled smart home device.
Personal emergency response systems (PERS) allow you to maintain your independence and live in your home. You can use them to summon emergency help when needed, and trained operators can even check in with you at periodic intervals to make sure you are well.
Take the time to talk with your adult children about your life care issues. You and your kids will be glad you did.