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How to Talk to Your Children About End-of-Life Care

Caitlin Burm
By Caitlin BurmOctober 18, 2018

Last Updated: October 18, 2018

As parents, we spend most of our lives caring for our children. But one day, the time will come when the roles are reversed and our children will need to become our caregivers.

This period of time can be uncomfortable for all — which is why many families choose not to have the “tough conversation” about what the next steps are for a parent’s care until a crisis occurs.

Read more about why now is the time to talk to your children about end-of-life care and see our tips on how to get your children involved in the conversation.

Talking to Your Children About End-of-Life Care

There are many resources available to adult children who are looking to have the tough conversation with their parents about end-of-life care, but there aren’t many resources available to proactive parents who want to have that conversation with their children.

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So, what should you do if you’re having difficulty speaking with your children about end-of-life care?

Tim Prosch, author of “The Other Talk: A Guide to Talking With Your Adult Children About the Rest of Your Life,” recommends focusing on the following, to get the conversation started with your family:

1. Talk about finances.

Let your children know about the costs of — and how you’re preparing to pay for — long-term senior care.

2. Talk about health.

Talk with your family about any health issues you’re having and whether or not you plan on designating your child an advocate for your health and medical care in the future.

3. Talk about housing.

Let your children know about whether or not you plan on moving out of or staying in your home, and if so, which type of senior care or housing you are most interested in at this time.

4. Talk about planning.

Talk with your family about your end-of-life plans and prepare them with the necessary healthcare and financial documents that they will need to carry out your plan.

Prosch recommends beginning your conversation with these topics, because:

“Through my research… the primary reason that the elderly begin to actively resist turning over responsibility and decision-making to their offspring is their escalating fear of becoming powerless; becoming a burden on the family, physically and financially.”

By having this tough conversation with your family now, you are ensuring that they handle your end-of-life as best they can, while you are still present to communicate it in the most comfortable and productive way possible.

Finding the Right Care for You and Your Family

Now that you’ve had the tough conversation with your children about your end-of-life care, you may want to continue researching which type of senior care is best for you and your family as you age.

Whether that be aging in place at home or finding a senior living community, there are many resources available to you at this time.

If you have questions about finding quality care, speak with one of our local Senior Living Advisors, who can provide you with more information about senior living near you. Call (866) 333-2174 for a consultation at no cost to you.

Have you talked to your children about end-of-life care? Do you have suggestions for other families just starting this conversation? Share your tips with us in the comments below.

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Caitlin Burm
Caitlin Burm
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