Unfortunately, there is no way around it. There will come a time when you and your senior parent(s) will need to have that awkward conversation. No one likes to discuss mortality or disability, but it is very important that you develop an open and trusting relationship with your parent(s) regarding their assets before they become ill or disabled. This conversation should be centered on the idea that you want to ensure that they are taken care of and that all of their wishes will be granted.
Life Alert can be an easy addition to this conversation. With every year you watch your parent(s) grow older and frailer. They insist on maintaining their independence, however, you worry they are unsafe in their home alone. Express to them your concern. What if they fell and could not get up? Or what if they have a heart attack and no one is there? Life Alert does not require the installation of some big complicated system or a giant change in their lifestyle. All they simply need to do is wear the very minimal, noninvasive Life Alert Help button either on the wrist or as a pendant and they are all set. Should a medical emergency arise, they can simply push the Life Alert button and emergency medical attention with arrive quickly, 24/7! There truly is no debate on whether or not this is a smart addition to any senior living independently.
Your parent(s) may be more open to having “the talk” than you think. As the recent years have passed, they may have already lost close friends and the concept of their demise has most certainly crossed their minds.
Once the flow of your conversation has begun, make sure you include these important questions posed by the article: 5 Essential Questions to Ask Your Senior Parents.
#1: Do you have a will?
#2: Where is your safe deposit box and where do you keep the key?
#3: Do you have jewelry, cash or other valuables hidden in the house?
#4: Where do you keep key documents?
#5: Who is your financial adviser and how does he or she manage your savings and investments?
Although not mentioned in the questions above supplied by the article referenced earlier, we believe it is important that you ask your parent(s) certain health related questions as well. Such as: If you can no longer take care of yourself, where would you like to live? What are your end-of-life wishes? Do you have a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order?
We are aware that this conversation may seem brazen and uncomfortable on paper, but we hope that once you begin the talk, it will flow naturally. Your parent(s) will most likely feel relieved that you care enough to ask these questions and you will feel prepared to take on any impending issues that may arise. This conversation truly is a win-win.
You can’t predict when something might happen to your senior parent, but you can be proactive. Life Alert is a wonderful way to allow your senior parent(s) the freedom they deserve and want. You may be having the talk about their future, but why not make all of their wishes come true now? Give them the gift of independence for as long as you can with Life Alert. To learn more on how Life Alert can help, call 1-800-513-2934 for a free brochure.
1. Schorsch III, Irvin G. “5 Essential Questions to Ask Your Senior Parent.” Huffington Post. 07 August 2011. < http://www.huffingtonpost.com/irvin-g-schorsch/senior parents_b_868837.html>.