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As the Baby Boomer generation gets older, many children arefaced with talking to their parents about aging. Never an easyconversation, there are ways to make this process less painful anduncomfortable for everyone involved.

The most important thing to remember is to speak to your parentswith the level of respect and understanding they deserve. Below aresome helpful suggestions for addressing pertinent health and safetyconcerns with your aging parents in a way that preserves theirdignity and their trust in your relationship with them.

Ask about their health: It is important to know where yourparents’ overall health stands, both from a precautionary and asafety standpoint. Make sure to ask questions about which type ofdoctors they visit and what medications they’re currently taking.If you feel it could be helpful, offer suggestions backed byconcrete information. For example, if you’ve noticed your parenthas become hard of hearing, provide them with specific informationabout hearingaids and offer to accompany them to have their hearingevaluated by a local professional. You can schedule a free hearing test atMiracle-Ear hearing centers nationwide. Though they may beresistant at first, the more convincing data and facts you have topresent, the easier it will be to convince your parents to addressa pressing health issue. Your research will put them at ease andreassure them that their health is your primary concern.

Talk about their long-term care: Do your parents have a livingwill? Do you know their opinions regarding long-term care ornursing homes? What are their views concerning life-support andburial options? While these issues are not easy to talk about, itis important to know where your loved ones stand. Most likely, oneor both of your parents feel very strongly about some of thesetough subjects.

It is crucial that you discuss these matters with them whilethey are able to in order to avoid complex legal and ethical issueslater on. When you know their wishes ahead of time, you and yourparents can come up with a plan that best meets their needs andclearly outlines your responsibilities and expectations concerningtheir care.

Discuss financial issues: As your parents age, make an effort tolearn more about their financial information in order to plan forboth their future and yours. Long-term care can be expensive, ascan medications, so ask you parents now about what insurancepolicies they hold and if they’ve saved for these expenses.Depending on what their financial situation is, it may be necessaryto come up with a plan to help them cover these costs. The USA.govwebsite offers information and resources for seniors, which you canuse in your discussion.

It may also be prudent to discuss after-death financial details,such as how you will pay for a funeral and whether or not yourparents have a will. If they don’t, encourage them to make onewhile they’re healthy in order to ensure their money is allottedhow they see fit in the event of death. Most people find suchtopics hard to broach, but doing so now can save you and yourfamily a lot of trouble and confusion in the long run.

It’s never easy to acknowledge that your parents are gettingolder, and in turn, frailer and more dependent on you and the restof your family. That’s why it is critically important to discussthese issues with them sooner rather than later, to avoid having tomake blind decisions and guesses if they become incapable of caringfor themselves. A few minutes of conversation can save everyoneinvolved a lifetime of guilt and uncertainty, so be sure and takethe time now to learn what your parents want.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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