Do your aging parents have a long-term care plan in place? Are you aware that, according to the American Health Care Association, more than half of Americans will require long-term care at some point in their lives? It may be a difficult topic to have with your aging parents who, at some point, may need long-term care but having a hard discussion before a parent’s health declines is optimal. Your parents will be assured that their wishes are carried out and it can prevent a financial disaster. While visiting your parents this holiday season, take some uninterrupted time to initiate the conversation. Below, find our A, B, C, D and E of ideas to use when discussing long-term care.

1. Ascertain what your parents want by having a face to face conversation. Long-term care and the aging process can be heavy topics and should not be brought up nonchalantly. Ask your parents if you can set aside a quiet time to talk about their plans. This may allow everyone to give the topic their full attention.

2. Be sure to know their wishes. Even though you may have done your research and have some ideas of what may be best for your parents, the foremost course of action is to first ask them their wishes. Are they interested in an assisted living situation? Is remaining in their home a priority? Have they done any estate planning? Have they purchased long-term care insurance or done Medicaid planning to cover the cost of a nursing home?

3. Collect as much information for your parents as possible. There can be many components of long-term care planning and it may be impossible to address everything in one meeting. Providing your parents information to begin the process, and offering to assist, as needed, is a great starting place.

4. Do offer to attend meetings with them. Your parents may want you to accompany them to meet with a qualified estate planning and elder law attorney. This will enable you to assist in the gathering of financial documents and in guiding them through the process.

5. Empathy, kindness and caring. Be sure this difficult conversation is full of empathy, kindness and caring as you work with your parents in preparing for their senior years.

Using the above ideas may assist you in giving your parents a guide to navigating the challenges of aging, which can be a great gift to give this holiday season. We do telephone, computer, and face-to-face appointments. Our face-to-face appointments are held outside in the open air (frequently selected by clients for document signing) and inside our office conference room. We follow all CDC guidelines. Our office procedures adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols and are designed and enhanced by medical review and air quality engineering.