The Aging Conversation

June 3, 2014
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For many people, speaking with their children about aging and long-term care is as stressful as having the talk about where babies come from. This is the exact analogy that Tim Prosch uses in his book “The Other Talk: A Guide to Talking With Your Adult Children About the Rest of Your Life.” His book was recently mentioned in an article in the Washington Post that was speaking about the importance of having a conversation about aging with your children. The article cites Genworth Financial, which asserts that 70% of people age 65 and older will need some type of long-term care. Perhaps you will fall into the 30% of people who do not need long-term care, but the fact of the matter is that nobody knows what the future holds. Even if you do not need the care yourself, you will certainly know people, even family members, that will need long term care. Therefore, it is imperative to have discussed certain issues with your children in order to be prepared for anything that may arise throughout the years. It is certainly easier, less stressful and less expensive to have these conversations while you are in good health rather than during a crisis. Some specific topics Prosch suggests people talk about include; how you plan to pay for any help that they may need in the future, where you would prefer to live if your health declined and you could no longer reside in your home, who you wish to act as your health care advocate, and what your end-of-life wishes are. Although speaking about these issues may seem uncomfortable, it will help to ensure that your wishes are met in your later years. It will also provide your children with a peace of mind knowing that they are carrying out your wishes rather than having to make important decisions on their own in a crisis situation.

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