Editorial - It's time for a heart-to-heart talk with parentsIt may be uncomfortable but it’s time to have a heart-to-heart talk with your aging parents. About what they envision for their future – where they want to live, what they’ll do after they retire, how much health care they’ll need and where they’ll receive it, if they want to leave a legacy for their children, and how their finances fit into the picture.
It may be uncomfortable but it’s time to have a heart-to-heart talk with your aging parents.
About what they envision for their future – where they want to live, what they’ll do after they retire, how much health care they’ll need and where they’ll receive it, if they want to leave a legacy for their children, and how their finances fit into the picture.
Those are just some of the very important questions that families avoid talking about until a crisis occurs or it’s simply too late. The statistics about the financial side of aging are alarming. Only about 35 percent of American adults have a will in place and nearly one in five claim they don’t have sufficient assets to warrant an estate plan. And that’s just on the money side of things. Children often don’t know what their parents’ medical needs are, their views on end-of-life care, or even who their doctors are.
Aging parents often aren’t willing to talk because they fear they’ll lose their independence or they don’t want to burden their children or they want to stay in their home. Their children avoid “the talk” because they’re embarrassed to broach the topic or feel they’d be intruding on their parents’ privacy.
A golden opportunity to start having the conversation is being offered in Alexandria next week.
A free 60-minute workshop, “Heart-to-Heart: As Your Parents Age,” will take place on Wednesday, August 22 and will be repeated on Tuesday, August 28. Both workshops will start at 6 p.m. and take place at Knute Nelson’s Grand Arbor, 4403 Pioneer Road SE, Alexandria. Although there is no cost to attend, reservations are appreciated because of limited space. Call (320) 763-1600.
The workshop is jointly sponsored by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Knute Nelson. Larry Gebhardt, Thrivent Financial representative, noted, “Before people can do what’s best for their senior parents, they need to know what their parents’ vision is for the future. This workshop highlights ways to begin those important conversations and offers tips for finding common understanding around possible solutions that address the needs of elders.”
Participants will receive a workbook and relevant handouts intended to be a resource for adult children and their parents.
So, if you have aging parents or if you’re a senior citizen or getting close to that age, consider attending this workshop. Give each other a call and go together. If you don’t know how to bring the topic up, say you happened to read this editorial in the Echo Press and thought it’d be a good thing to go to. You can seal the deal by saying there will even be free root beer floats.
Having this talk next week could very well be something you’ll look back on years from now as the best 60-minute investment of time you’ve ever made.