Thanksgiving is fast approaching, the best time to take out your list of important questions to ask aging parents. Now, it’s your turn to be on the opposite side of the table and start a conversation about their current needs, plans and wishes.
Will you visit your aging parents this Thanksgiving and initiate the conversation?
If yes, then you’re saving yourself years of making life-changing and critical decisions on their behalf without a concrete plan.
If no, then better rethink your plans this Thanksgiving because avoiding “the talk” will just create more problems in the future. It is inevitable anyway, so it’s best to do it while everyone is present.
To help you start the conversation, we have prepared questions you should ask your parents regarding their current living conditions, health and plans.
Tough Questions to Ask Aging Parents
- Do you plan to stay at home now that you are getting older?
- Are you having difficulty moving around and using the stairs?
- Do you plan to make home modifications to make your home safe, comfortable and senior-friendly?
- Are you considering moving and living somewhere else?
- Are you considering moving into a smaller place that is easier to manage?
- Would you consider moving in with one of my siblings or me?
- Can I help in choosing the best living arrangement for you?
- Do you need help carrying out your daily living activities like cooking, cleaning, doing the laundry or keeping the yard clean?
- Do you have reliable transportation for medical visits, grocery shopping and visiting friends?
- Is driving becoming a challenge for you?
Most aging parents prefer to receive care at home likewise their loved ones, and statistics would show that receiving care at home is the popular choice today.
- Are you currently seeing a doctor?
- What health problems/conditions do you have?
- Are you satisfied with the care you are getting?
- Do you need multiple medical specialists and considering getting home health services?
- Do you take any medications? If yes, are you having problems taking your medications?
- Can you take your medications on your own?
- Do you have health insurance?
- Are you considering getting Medicare supplement insurance?
- Do you have an advanced medical directive?
- What are your current expenses and estimate of your future expenses?
- Do you need help paying your monthly expenses?
- Do you need financial advice to help make your money last?
- Are your pension and Social Security checks deposited straight to your bank?
- Have you thought about the possibility that you might need more money to pay for long term care in the future?
- Do you keep all your financial paperwork?
- Are you keeping a safe box?
- What financial accounts do you have and where can I find them?
- Do you have an advance directive or living will?
- Do you have a durable power of attorney?
- Do you have an estate plan?
- Do you have long term care insurance?
Money is the topic that most aging parents don’t want to talk about. It is a sensitive topic to tread so it’s recommended to be less direct when asking these questions especially regarding their future medical and long term care expenses.
Discussing care expenses is essential nowadays considering the cost of a nursing home, assisted living facilities, home care and other long term care settings that continue to increase. Encourage them to plan for their future and long term care needs by comparing long term care insurance plans and getting the most fitting plan for their needs.
Download our free ebook Long Term Care Insurance: Definition, Costs, and Policy Details to learn more about how the policy works.
Also, don’t make money conversations about things you have to do for them since no aging parents want to feel like a burden to their loved ones. Instead, use better communication by focusing on what they want to do and how you can help them carry out their plans.
Dealing with Aging Parents this Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a season best spent with family, friends and loved ones. Don’t let this chance of gathering around the table and sharing important conversations with your loved ones pass you by.
Aging parents can be a bit reluctant to have this conversation at this time of the year. But, you need to get the ball rolling while they are still healthy and they can still prepare for their care expenses, where they want to grow old and how they want their life to be handled when they can no longer make decisions on their own.
Don’t forget to share this post with your family and friends and family. We’d love to help families make their Thanksgiving special and productive by preparing this list of important questions to ask aging parents.
May all of us have a memorable Thanksgiving!