Having ‘The Talk’ with Your Loved Ones

Where do they want to be cared for and how?

Recently, I reached my 50s, along with millions of other aging baby boomers. I can still remember when I was in my 20s and I thought 50 was old—really old! But, baby boomers are revolutionizing how we think about age … and, also about how we care for our post-war, baby-making parents.

Our parents—the Greatest Generation—are living well into their 80s and 90s. As such, boomers are challenged with making caregiving decisions more than any other previous generation.

Every week I have conversations with fellow boomers about caring for our parents. Comments run from I can’t keep taking time off from work to take my mom to the hospital and I’m tired of rushing home to fix dinner for dad to I am exhausted by the evening caregiving chores and I’m staying over nights because Dad has breathing issues and needs 24-hour care. These scenarios are typical for many families in Hawai‘i, where caregiving of some form or fashion happens in 1 in 4 households.

Regardless of how well your parents are aging, every family needs to have to “the talk.” I suggest that adult children and parents be proactive about this. Have a plan before you are faced with a major health issue.

If you are the adult child, ask your parents about who they’d like to take care of them, where they’ll be cared for, and how to pay for services in the case that family cannot provide adequate care.

Women have a 79% chance of needing care, and men you are not far behind at 69%.

~ According to AARP

  • Do they have long-term care insurance?
  • Where are their legal papers?
  • Where are their bank accounts?
  • Do they have an attorney?

If you are a parent, please make time to discuss caregiving with your spouse and children. Planning will ensure that you receive the care you want and deserve. If you do not plan with your children, they may have to make decisions for you … decisions that you may not agree with.


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