It May Be Time for “The Talk” With Mom and Dad

More and more, aging Americans are living at home alone, beyond their ability to care for themselves, leading to what’s being called self-neglect. Often widowed, unable to responsibly shop, clean, or stay on top of finances, they sometimes find others making decisions for their lifestyle they might have preferred making themselves.

Just as mom and dad once sat you down to discuss the birds and bees, it might be time to sit them down for the talk. How do they want to spend their final years, and where?

“What type of social setting would you like to go to? Would you like to go to a small assisted living facility? Would you like to go to a large assisted living facility with a lot of different residents?” Those are the questions you should ask, suggests Loe Hornbuckle, a senior care specialist in Dallas and CEO of Sage Oak Assisted Living and Memory Care, the boutique senior housing company. He deals with these issues all the time, and says you are far better off being proactive rather than waiting for a crisis to overwhelm the family. When of sound mind and body, almost everyone expects to stay that way for the rest of their life. “But the moment they can’t, then an intervention has to happen. And the question is, do you want the intervention to happen through Adult Protective Services, or do you want the intervention to happen when your family is in control of what happens,” says Hornbuckle. He says a recent survey of elderly people found assisted living was their first choice, living with family further down the line.

The best time to find out your parents’ choice is while they are still able to make it.

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