Many adult children may begin to notice, for the first time, that their parents aren’t able to do as much as they used to or are perhaps a bit more forgetful. Often these concerns go unspoken and ignored until a crisis is at hand — but it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s a second choice, and people who study aging call it “the talk.”
No matter how old you are, talking to your parents about their long-term care needs and finances is just plain uncomfortable for everyone involved. The parent may be resistant to sharing information with their “kids” or may even be unaware that they need help. And, across the board, it’s hard to acknowledge that with aging may come a loss of independence and a role reversal when the child becomes the caregiver.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2005), 60 percent of people say that making sure their family is not burdened by tough decisions is “extremely important,” but more than half of them have not communicated their end-of-life wishes.