The holidays will be here before we know it, and for many, this time of the year presents the opportunity to gather with family and loved ones. Specifically, if you have a loved one who you’ve been meaning to speak with about long-term care, the holidays could be the ideal time for you to do so. Of course, having the conversation with a loved one about long-term care isn’t always easy, which is why there are important guidelines to keep in mind before you initiate the discussion.
How to Break the Ice
Often, the hardest part about having the conversation is simply breaking the ice. The uncertainty of the future isn’t something most people enjoy talking about. Fortunately, there are some tactful ways to go about it. You can be bold and simply ask your loved one outright if they would mind having an important conversation with you. Or, if you want to be more subtle, consider starting a conversation about somebody else you know who is currently dealing with some aspect of long-term care; this can be a good way to segue into your own discussion.
Topics to Cover
Once the conversation gets going, you’ll want to have a general idea of which specific subjects need to be addressed. You’ll want to touch on the topics related to:
- your loved one’s future lifestyle expectations
- legal aspects (wills, power of attorney, estate planning)
- possible care options worth exploring
- finances and costs involved in long-term care
Dos and Don’ts
As you prepare for your conversation about long-term care with a loved one, there are also some important dos and don’ts worth keeping in mind. For starters, do have this conversation in person. Carve out some quiet time at your holiday gathering, but don’t try to have the conversation over the phone or (even worse) via text or email. Do come prepared, having done your research, and ready to truly listen. Don’t be the one doing all the talking.
Finally, don’t be too pushy or get your loved one to commit to a long-term care plan right away. Understand that your conversation will be just the beginning of many more discussions to come.
The more family members involved in the long-term care planning of your loved one, the more challenging things can become. As you work with other family members to come to the right long-term care solution for your loved one, it’s important to be mindful of the dynamics. Keep things as peaceful as possible, and never revisit past hot topics. Remember that everybody has the same goal: to make sure your loved one is well taken care of.
There’s certainly a lot to keep in mind when planning to have a discussion with your loved one about long-term care, and the task can be quite daunting. Be sure to keep these tips and guidelines in mind as you prepare for this conversation at your next holiday gathering.
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