Talking about the future with parents


September 1, 2011

It's a topic that no one really wants to bring up with their aging parents – the future. What will Mom and Dad be doing for long-term care options? Have they already put together a will? Have they considered who will be a healthcare proxy in the case of an emergency?

Of course, if families wait too long, then that causes a number of other problems to arise.

"With my wife's grandmother, we learned the hard way how not to handle aging issues," Chris Scott, 52, of Pleasanton, California, told The Chicago Tribune. "We all waited too long to make some of these changes, so everything we did had to be reactive rather than proactive."

Not only that, when adult children do confront their parents, sometimes the conversation can cause tension. Usually, this is because there is a distinct sense of role reversal – that a parent is becoming the child and vice versa.

The trick may be to find a compromise that allows older adults to remain independent, but assures children that their loved ones are safe. One solution may be to install senior alert systems throughout a home, because these devices enable users to immediately get in touch with emergency services.