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May 25, 2022

That's A Hard Conversation

Written By: Klay Huddleston, Franchise Owner, Home Instead
home instead caregivers provide the best local care for seniors

Driving, living independently, finances…those are all hard conversations for older adults and their families.

Blog Key Takeaways

  • When it comes to the issues of aging, older adults and their families may neglect discussions that examine living and financial issues, health, relationships, driving and end of life. 
  • Almost Half of US Adults Have Not Had End-of-Life Planning Conversations with Loved Ones
  • About 1 in 6 Americans Would Rather Have a Colonoscopy Than Discuss End-of-Life Plans
  • Majority of Americans Say Giving Up Driving is Harder to Discuss with Older Loved Ones Than Sex
  • Plurality of Adults Say COVID-19 Has Made Them More Likely to Have End-of-Life Planning Conversations
  • Starting the conversation is the first step

About five years ago after a couple close calls on the road, I had to sit down with my father and have the dreaded ‘time to give up your keys’ conversation. I was very nervous but relied on my own experience with our clients and our strong, honest relationship. We discussed not only the risks to him and my mom, but the risks to the community around him and most importantly his grandchildren. That did it. He turned in his keys and despite the awkward topic it ended up being a pretty nice moment ending with a hug.

Because I get the same question from a lot of families… “How do I talk to my parents about getting some help?” I was so excited recently when Home Instead released a fantastic set of resources to aid families and older adults in planning for and have having these sorts of important conversations. I really appreciated how it gives advice from both perspectives, the aging adult AND those providing care.

The program, called Elderoscopy, is a play on the dread we all feel when considering the colonoscopy. Just like that infamous test, the worst part of these conversations is the anticipation and the preparation (yuck!) and the actual test, or in this case the conversation, is not so bad. 

Our very own noted Home Instead gerontologist and caregiving advocate Lakelyn Eichenberger, Ph.D. recently noted “It can be easy to avoid discussing and planning for the later stages of life,” “Dodging important issues not only can jeopardize an aging loved one’s health but could lead to family discord and unhappiness. Starting the conversation is the first step.”

I’m confident these new resources will help families be more prepared and comfortable talking about topics like, where a loved one would like to live, financial planning, and whether in-home care is the right fit.

The planning materials and guides can be found here.

For more information about Companionship services or other in-home senior care services and how Home Instead can help your aging loved one, call (740) 363-5720 today!