Expert Advice on Family Conversations
Dick Edwards, Retired Elder Care Specialist, Author of Mom, Dad…Can We Talk?: “Families are the problem and families are the solution. Smart folks… see this coming and start early. They begin to have ‘What if?’ conversations or ‘What will we do when?’ conversations.”
Joy Loverde, Author of The Complete Eldercare Planner: “People don’t realize that it’s actually possible to plan ahead for the well-being of our parents and ourselves.
Stick with the facts… it helps to take the emotions out of the situation. Present clear cut evidence of why you’re thinking the way you are. Don’t just go by, ‘I think because I feel this way.’ It has to be about evidence that a change must be made, of one kind or another.”
Dick Edwards, Retired Elder Care Specialist, Author of Mom, Dad…Can We Talk?: “What an aging parent who’s faced with a question of should I relocate or shall I stay here doesn’t want to deal with is friction and conflict between and among her children. Have these conversations. Get on the same page. Give your parents permission to act in their best interest and don’t be the standout barrier that prevents that from happening.
Start the Conversation
More often people wait until there’s a crisis. They wait until there’s some trigger event that says, ‘Houston, we have a problem!’ That’s the worst possible time to sort out the needs and the responses.”
Joy Loverde, Author of The Complete Eldercare Planner: “It could be something like a family meeting. It could be a phone call. It could be you volunteering right away to be the leader of the whole thing.”
Dick Edwards, Retired Elder Care Specialist, Author of Mom, Dad…Can We Talk?: “It’s not a conversation where you call your dad or your mom and say, ‘I’m swinging by the house and we are going to have the talk and I’ve got some questions for you.’ It’s more of a recognizance mission, where you know the things you need to know to this right, to be of good service, to honor your parents, so you have conversations overtime.
If having conversations doesn’t work, try this…put it in writing. Mom, dad, we love you, you’ve always been there for us. We want to do the right thing. We’re not sure what the right thing is. You don’t want to be a burden. But we do worry.”
Making the Decision
Joy Loverde, Author of The Complete Eldercare Planner: “The staff is key. These are people who have gone to school for years and years. These are people who live and breathe the elder care industry. These are people who know what to do in every situation. This is why we all need to consider the advice and the resources that the staff at nursing homes and in senior housing… the staff couldn’t be better.”
Dick Edwards, Retired Elder Care Specialist, Author of Mom, Dad…Can We Talk?: “Most commonly, the decision to move from the house to a community or a congregate living setting, is most often a decision that might be influenced by adult children but it’s made by the older person. It’s a choice…. I choose to live here. I didn’t get put anywhere. I made a decision. A thoughtful decision. I’m doing it for me, and I’m doing it for my kids.”
Joy Loverde, Author of The Complete Eldercare Planner: “Where you live matters.”