10 topics to discuss at your next visit to your parents' home
We all remember the story when the parents said to us solemnly: "Sit down, we have something to discuss". Well now, maybe it's time to serve them the very same medicine!
Discussing important issues with aging loved ones can be challenging. Studies show that few children have these conversations until needed, when a major event happens, for example, a sudden health problem, the loss of a spouse, or when it becomes obvious that dad or mom has problems with daily tasks.
But waiting for a moment of crisis is not a good planning strategy. Instead, address these topics before a serious crisis occurs. When you do, stay relaxed, do not overwhelm your parents, let them feel your love and concern.
And remember that helping your parents plan well for their old age in retirement homes or with home care services is important not only for their well-being as they get older but also for your well-being and for your financial, emotional and physical health as well.
Here is our list of 10 topics to discuss with your parents at your next visit to your parents’ home:
Life Options - Do your parents want to stay in their current home as long as possible? Perhaps they plan to reduce their lifestyle or move to a community of seniors?
Discuss what they would prefer if they lost their health and needed more help with the tasks and activities of daily living. Do you talk about home care with specialized services or just basic home help, whether with a family caregiver or a professional caregiver?
Home modifications - Does your parents' home still adequately meet their needs and, above all, their abilities? What repairs or modifications would be appropriate or necessary to make the house, apartment or condominium safer and above all more convenient?
Staying physically active - There are countless studies showing that regular physical activity is the most important factor in healthy aging.
Regardless of the health status of the elderly person, it is not only useful but more than recommended to add exercise sessions to their routine. Encourage your parents to add more physical activity to their lifestyle.
Maintain a very active social life - Meaningful social interaction is essential to the physical, emotional and intellectual health of people of all ages.
Spending time with children is certainly rewarding but did you know that recent studies show that older people who socialize not only with family members but also with different generations of groups have better emotional, intellectual and physical health?
Estate Planning - Do Your Parents Have an Up-to-Date Will? If their plan is to pass on property to family members, have they talked to a financial advisor or a notary about how best to do it?
How can their assets help to provide for their own care in the event of a disability or a deterioration in their health, either physical or mental?
Health Care Planning - Have your parents notarized or formulated clear guidelines for health care in the event of a severe crisis, including a power of attorney for children and a will?
You can never be so careful about this. Did you discuss their wishes with them if they were incapacitated and unable to make their own decisions about health care?
Medicare, Social Security, Benefits, Retirement - Do your parents benefit from all the health benefits offered by the RAMQ? Do they have the best complementary health insurance and drug insurance policy?
Do they know all the details of the procedure and the deadlines in order to take full advantage of their coverage and the benefits of their insurance policy?
Long-Term Care Insurance - Many people mistakenly believe that all the costs of elderly residences or home care are covered. But in reality, Health Care Insurance does not cover all long-term care and their fees can quickly deplete your parents' financial resources.
Check if your parents have an insurance policy for this, otherwise, if they are good candidates for long-term care insurance. And if they already have an insurance policy for this purpose, is it a reputable insurance company?
Fall Prevention - Surprisingly, and especially if they have already experienced falls before, many seniors are reluctant to discuss this topic. But did you know that falls prevention for the elderly is actually an important part of planning for a good old age?
Falls are one of the leading causes of disability in the elderly and it is a major risk factor that we can proactively avoid.
Avoiding Crime and Fraud - Unfortunately, criminals and scam artists often target vulnerable seniors not only physically by breach of home but also virtually, whether by phone, email or social media.
Scams and unethical sales methods towards older people can lead to serious financial losses. Elderly victims of scams are often ashamed to discuss the incident. So talk about it and find out from your parents about fake contests, identity theft and unscrupulous vendors.
These topic suggestions are intended to provide a forum for seniors and family members as they plan together with the well-being of their parents. And if the teamwork aspect does not work as well as you want, consider adding new members to the team, from family or loved ones!
A home care service provider, a geriatric caregiver, a financial planner or a senior care lawyer; they can all provide valuable help and advice.
Remember that you share a common goal in planning for maintaining a good quality of life for your loved one so that you and your loved ones can live life as fully and enjoyably as possible.
For a free consultation in the comfort of your home.