• Tips for Talking to Your Adult Children About Your Later in Life Planning

    Tips for Talking to Your Adult Children About Your Later in Life Planning

Even with the best-laid plans, few people ever think they will become disabled or sick. That is why it is so difficult to plan for something we don’t want to happen. However, later-in-life planning is something that happens to everyone whether you are prepared for it or not. You may have already completed the process of getting your affairs in order, however, the hardest part is convincing a friend or family member to carry them out. That’s why it’s essential to have a plan in place for how to initiate the conversation.

Tips for Talking About Later-in-Life Planning

If you had one overall takeaway from this list, it’s that the process of starting the conversation takes time and patience. When you accept this, you will increase your chances of success.

Be Respectful

Respect is the first place to start whenever having any kind of difficult conversation. No one likes to feel like their concerns are going unnoticed. Addressing each other with respect empowers both sides to make effective decisions and helps mitigate any issues that may arise.

Lead by Example

One way to start the conversation is to put things in perspective with specific examples of challenges you are concerned about. For instance, you might say:

“I’m worried that my children don’t have a good idea of my wishes, should I find myself unable to express them.”

This may be distressing to your children, but life is unpredictable. So it may be a good idea to express you don’t anticipate this being necessary and you just want to cover your bases. You may want to give an example of someone you know that had an accident or unexpected illness where later-in-life planning was not in place and it affected the family. Only use this if you have an anecdotal example, don’t make things up just to prove a point.

Put Later-in-Life Planning into Context

Talking about later-in-life planning can be very emotional. Most individuals would like to avoid uncomfortable topics altogether. The thought of death can frighten those who care about you and talking about your plans can be very difficult, both emotionally and mentally. However, putting later-in-life planning into the larger context of healthcare and financial planning can make the topic less emotional. 

This may also be a good time to talk about healthcare options for the future. These options can range from Continuing Care at Home programs (CCAHs) to senior living communities. Take the time to learn about your options and speak with representatives about care should you need it. Consider having this conversation well before you experience a health challenge, good decisions are rarely made in a crisis.

Talk About How this Plan Will Help

Putting a later-in-life plan together isn’t just about ensuring your wishes are carried out, but also about making things easier for those who are left behind. Make sure your friends and family know you are making this plan to benefit them as well, this may alleviate some of the negative feelings regarding the situation.

Expect Some Resistance

As we’ve expressed, emotions often run high in these situations. And expecting some resistance to the idea will make you more prepared. Remaining calm and centered is the best way to respond to this kind of resistance to the plan. Remember, this resistance is often rooted in fear and discomfort rather than anything personal.

Confident Living is a Continuing Care At Home (CCAH) program. It’s part of a not-for-profit organization with over 100 years of experience in helping people live well, wherever they are. Our members trust us to help them navigate their options so they can live independently in the comfort of their own homes.

Don’t let the future catch you off guard and start planning today with this FREE eBook, Plan the Future for You and Your Spouse’s Long-Term Care.