2. Include other family members. Family dynamics differ but ultimately you are not alone.
3. Let them know why you are having the conversation. Your parents love you. Your concerns are their concerns.
4. Keep in mind, your parents still need to be independent. The goal is for them to remain independent as long as they can with minimum intrusion. They need to be in control of their lives.
5. Agree to disagree. It it important to respect their wishes but safety comes first.
6. Use good communication skills, despite the highly emotion topics. Offering options is more effective that offering advice.
7. When the time is right, ask about records and documentation. insurance policies, wills, health care proxies, living wills, trust documents, tax returns, and investment and banking records are located. You can start by asking your parent where they keep their papers, and whom you should contact in case they're in an accident, or are incapacitated. But understand they may be hesitant to disclose all information but this might make it a bit easier.
8. Your parents may not have all the information. Learn about long-term health care insurance together. Medicare does not cover it and medicaid only covers low income individuals.
9. Re-evaluate. When the situation shifts or if you can't have all the conversations at once.... revisit.
10. Always be respectful.While old age can be a rewarding time, it is also often a time of loss - of loved ones, of health, and of independence. Treat your parents with love and respect, and reassure them that you will be there for them as they age.
11. Remember you can plant a seed with a whisper more than you can with a scream.
Because You Care
Inspired by: "Ten Tips for Talking to Your Aging Parents", AARP Health Care Options/Met Life Mature Market Institute