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How to Talk to Your Elderly Loved One

NJ Senior Living & Lifestyle

In general, there is a difference between seniors in their 80s and older, and those who are now in their 70s.  For example:

Seniors in Their 80s

Seniors in their 80s, who lived through the Depression, have often spent frugally and saved as much as possible. They focus on wanting to leave a legacy to their children, are less willing to spend money on themselves, and less inclined to talk about future plans.

Seniors in Their 70s

Seniors now in their 70s are more questioning, more discerning and less amenable to institutional, assisted living alternatives. This new wave of “young” seniors is beginning to ponder difficult questions that do not have easy answers, such as, “Where do I want to live if I’m no longer able to stay at home? Who do I want to take care of me in the event I become ill? What are my wishes regarding end of life care?”

Align the Conversation to Your Senior’s Values

Knowing the seniors’ priorities can help their loved ones know what to say to convince them to get the help they need. For someone in his 80s, who doesn’t want to spend money on services for himself, having his children (and grandchildren) tell him they prefer that he spend it on his own needs and not gift it to the kids, might really free the parent up to take care of his own needs.

For someone in his 70s, having the children (and grandchildren) talk with him about his different options and help him identify the ones that best fit his needs and financial situation, might be helpful. This can be complicated due to the fact that seniors are often reluctant to discuss their finances with their children. Nevertheless, having an outline of your senior’s assets so you can know which options are available, is important.

When children have conversations with their parents about the future, they must first reassure the senior that they will be in control and have the final say and that the children just want to help them think about future possibilities and understand their preferences.

Posted by: Frank Esposito, Vice President of Expert Home CareNew Jersey’s Expert Home Care provides professional and reliable home health care and companion care for NJ elderly, helping them with their daily living activities since 1984. Please call us toll free at 800-848-2336 when you have home care related questions or need assistance for a loved one. Get a Free Home Care Assessment (a $375 value!) when you mention this post.

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