Discussing the issues of aging with a loved one can be difficult, but it’s important to make arrangements and significant decisions while loved ones are mentally able to do so. By making choices about long-term care, estate plans and financial plans early, families will find it easier to manage changes and crises and avoid the stress of decision-making in difficult situations. How and where do you start the conversation? Begin talking with your loved ones by following these tips.
Choose the Conversation’s Focus
While topics about long-term care and estate planning may bring about thoughts of aging and death, focus your conversation on developing a plan for living well and being prepared for a long, healthy life ahead. If you know your loved one will be uneasy discussing these topics, choose a setting that is comfortable and relaxing, and clearly explain why these topics must be addressed.
Before you start the conversation, gather information about the topics you need to discuss. Whether you make a checklist or bring informative articles you can read together, having a list of topics in mind will help you stay focused and organized. Some topics you should address include healthcare, living arrangements and long-term care, financial planning and end-of-life wishes.
Include the Entire Family
Depending on your loved one’s wishes and family relationships, he or she may want to include the entire family in the planning process. Encourage the family to join the conversation so everyone understands your loved one’s wishes and can be prepared.
Making life choices, especially with respect to end-of-life and health issues, can be stressful. It may take some time before an elder can come to terms with the thought of facing these issues and be ready to start planning. With this in mind, hold multiple meetings to discuss these topics and develop your plan of action. Doing this will help you and your loved one remain calm and make wise decisions.
Seek Expert Help
Seeking the help of an elder law attorney can lessen the pressure you and your elderly loved one feel about planning for the future. An elder law attorney can help start the conversation about topics relating to aging and guide you through the next steps in planning, such as creating a will, power of attorney, or trust. They can also assist you with asset protect and long-term care choices.
While talking about aging issues is not easy, these conversations help elders and families maintain control in difficult situations. If you need assistance starting the conversation with your loved ones or if you need guidance for your legal needs relating to elder law, contact us today.