The holiday season is often a time for families to celebrate the season. Since it may also be the only time of the year that many families are able to gather all together, however, have you considered that it can also be a good opportunity to discuss long term care planning for older or disabled loved ones? Let us discuss five tips for approaching the long-term care planning conversation with your loved ones.
1. Start the conversation early. Even if your loved ones are still in good health, if they are getting older, talking about long-term planning including estate planning and any potential need for long-term care if their health deteriorates can be important. If you start the conversation early, you will be able to discuss from a position of future planning, rather than attempting to figure things out at the last minute when there may be a desperate need. Framing it in this way to your loved ones can be helpful.
2. Be upbeat. It can be an easier conversation when it is treated as planning for the future with everyone’s peace and security in mind, rather than as a topic that brings fear into your or your loved one’s mind.
3. Ease into it. This may not be the right conversation to have while you are decorating the Christmas tree or sitting down to an elaborate holiday meal. Instead, it may be best to find a quiet moment when relaxing with hot cocoa to broach the subject of long-term planning. Even then, starting things off by saying you would like to talk about something important rather than blurting it out can soften the message.
4. Listen. As much as you may have prepared for this conversation and have talking points in mind, it may surprise you to know that your loved one has been considering the subject as well. If this is the case, let him or her talk while you listen. Get his or her thoughts. Try to understand his or her hopes and fears.
5. Keep it Simple. You do not have to solve every issue related to long term planning in one conversation. Instead, it may work best to stick to a few major points of discussion, and agree to keep the conversation going after the holidays are over.
For assistance with long-term care planning and related legal matters, our office is here to help. Please reach out to us and schedule an appointment.