If you’ve observed a decline in your elderly parent’s health or mental state, or have started to notice everyday tasks are becoming more difficult, it’s time to consider having the end of life conversation. While it can be challenging to start talking with aging parents about their futures, discussing the care they need as well as the related financial and legal matters that could arise is a vital step to take before a real crisis may occur.
Many aging adults wish to remain living independently in their own homes for as long as possible, and they can be stubborn when it comes to admitting that someday their needs may change- if they haven’t already. Knowing how to talk to elderly parents and treating them with the respect they deserve will make the end of life conversation easier for everyone involved.
When you decide it’s time to talk with your parents about assisted living or other senior living options, it’s important to be prepared. Start by gathering your thoughts, whether that means putting ideas down on paper or in a letter, or even having a practice conversation with different family members. Keep a list of topics you’d like to discuss to help you stay focused on and to overcome any objections your loved one may have. Having a conversation about end of life while your aging parents are still in good health will allow them a chance to be a part of the decision-making process.
If you aren’t sure how to initiate the end of life conversation, here are just a few ways to get it started and keep it going over time:
Today’s seniors have a wide variety of living options available to them. If they are healthy and active, independent living could be a great option. For those who need more help with daily living tasks, assisted living could provide the care they require, while allowing them to maintain a level of independence. Whatever you end up deciding with them just remember that every senior is different, and the best senior living and end of life options will depend on their current and future healthcare needs.