Mom/Dad, We Need To Have A Genuine Heart-To-Heart Talk
How Adult Children Can “Have The Talk” With Their Aging Parents
Even if your parents are younger baby boomers who are active and vital, it’s not too early to start chatting with them about their future living arrangements.
For many Seniors or people on the brink of becoming a Senior, this topic can be sensitive and tricky.
But some people in that demographic are very open to the idea. would like to be organized and ahead of the game so that they are not making decisions in the heat of the moment, should it come to that.
Merging your parents into these conversations early and organically can set the tone for a time when you need to have more decision-focused discussions.
You can easily and effectively take the gentle approach to ease into having this talk. “Conversation starters” can help get you going.
Here are some excellent questions to use as conversation starters to get the feel of where their mindset is at:
What are your plans for activities in retirement?
What are your plans for renovating your home?
Do you have a will and health directives?
Once you get the ball rolling with such topics, one thing can lead to another, and you should be able to get a sense of their timeline for these plans.
Direct questions are not always the way to go, however. By interjecting your concerns about your own life and living situation, you can let them know how you plan to handle certain things.
Your parents then may see that they have advice to share and that their opinions are still relevant.
This could lead to them suggesting how they would handle things if they were in your shoes, leading to them opening up about what they have been thinking about for their own circumstance.
Creating a safe space for them to have this conversation with you will help them feel comfortable revealing their struggles and decisions.
Parents, no matter what age, love being consulted for advice. Everyone loves to feel needed.
Here are some sample conversations to get you started:
1. We just did our will and health directives. It was a challenging endeavour! It’s no fun to think about that stuff. We felt like we are too young, but we also thought it was the responsible thing to do, especially when it comes to having things settled in advance for our kids. We don’t want to leave them with a big mess of paperwork and legal issues. I will admit, it did feel like a relief to get this finished.
2. We decided to do some updates to the house, and we were a little taken aback when our contractor asked us if we would like to consider putting in some ageing-in-place features. We haven’t even talked about how long we want to live in the house, so now we have some decisions to make. We would rather not renovate again should we happen to stay, but maybe we only have five more years or so in that house. It’s a big decision. Do you have any thoughts on how we can decide on how much to do to the house?
3. We have been having discussions about this for a while, so we finally decided to enlist a financial expert to help us. We have been unsure that we have saved enough for our retirement. How do people even know how much they are going to need for their future? It’s very confusing. How do you feel about the things you have done to secure your financial future?
When topics present themselves naturally, the conversation should flow naturally without anyone feeling like they are being pressured.
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