Was something different with your aging parents over Thanksgiving? If you don’t see your parents regularly, you may notice changes more easily than your relative who lives nearby (when you see someone daily, it’s harder to recognize gradual changes).
If you think your aging parents may need help, discuss your observation with your relative who lives nearby. Be careful not to use an accusatory tone since they visit your parents regularly. LivHOME, one of the nation’s largest professionally led at-home senior care companies, identifies 10 signs indicating an aging parent may need help. Click here to read the list. Key thing to look for is if anything is different from the norm- whether that’s no longer keeping up with normal household tidiness to neglecting personal hygiene.
WHAT TYPE OF HELP
If you conclude help is needed, then determine what type of help. Do they need an emergency response device? Maybe they would benefit from non-medical in-home care? Or, is it time for them to relocate to an independent living facility? With many options available, you may benefit from reaching out to a Geriatric Care Manager, generally licensed nurses or social workers who specialize in geriatrics. Geriatric Care Managers can assist in determining the appropriate type of care. To locate a care manager contact the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care.
HOW TO START THE CONVERSATION
Once you have an idea of what type of help may be needed, the next step is to discuss with your parents possible options. When discussing options include how and if their health care insurance will cover costs. An initial conversation should be done in person and privately. Choose one family member to initiate the conversation (involving too many people can be overwhelming and appear threatening). Keep in mind, independence is highly valued. Fear of losing control and independence will create resistance. Aim for fostering interdependence.
Manage your expectations. Nothing will be resolved in one conversation. Give your parents time to acknowledge they need help and to think about options.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Her firm bridges the gap between financial planning and coaching. As a Transition Consultant, she offers sage advice in all aspects of life – financial, personal and professional. Niv does not manage money and does not sell financial products. She charges an hourly fee on a retained basis. Her services include spending plan development, divorce financial review, life strategy and professional progression. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me’.”