What time is the right time to talk about long term care?

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This post is part of a series brought to you by Genworth Financial.  What time is the right time to talk about long term care? The answer, my friends, is really, right now. There’s not a set time frame, but I can tell you from my own life experience and that of my friends, that the more you are open and talk with your loved ones about the future, and your wishes, their wishes, etc., the easier things are down the road when that “future” becomes the immediate reality for you.  It’s not always fun, nor comfortable, but it’s important.  It matters. And it will save you time, confusion and heartache down the road.

Long Term Care is not something that “others” may need in their lifetime.  There’s not a way to know if you will or won’t need it in most cases, so talking about it before you need it is kind of a must.  Be honest, be open. But talk.  Kids, you need to team up and all be on board with your parents’ wishes.  Parents, you need to try to talk to all of your children so that the burden hopefully doesn’t fall on just one person’s shoulders. Husbands, wives, tell your significant other.  No one can abide by your wishes if you don’t tell anyone what they are.
long term care
I remember when my parents started including me in the “adult child” conversations about the future.  I was kind of like “uh…right. Ok, but you’re not even retired and why exactly does this matter or apply here?” But in the blink of an eye, mom was sick, declining steadily and all of the long term care decisions were in place and dad knew what mom wanted- and thankfully, we kids all knew too.  Mom wanted to be home, medication used only to keep her comfortable.  For dad, we’re still navigating the long term care “thing” because with Alzheimer’s, things change almost steadily at times.  We know the “basics” of his long term care wishes, and we trust what we knew of dad and what we have in writing for him to follow his wishes for his care.

So where do you start? What do you say?  Check out articles like this one that address long term care, particularly for women (which is obviously relevant to me) for some tips and suggestions.  And remember- you don’t have to have the whole conversation at once.  But start the discussions about the future sooner than later- you just never know.  Be honest and be open.

This post was inspired by Genworth Financial.  Opinions are my own.

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About the author: I’m a 30-something mom to three, brand ambassador. content creator, social media maven, blogger extraordinaire, earth lover, butcher, baker, candlestick maker (or something along those lines) – love word games, crafting, cake decorating or shooting pictures.

16 comments… add one

  • My family has been so blessed, we have not had to go there yet, my parents are in their late 70′s, my mom is not well at all, but my dad takes very good care of her, I pray we never have to have that talk.

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  • We’ve had the talk with MY mom, but not with my husband’s parents…. they don’t much like to discuss these things. But also, with me being chronically ill for over Ten years, I had never really taken this discussion seriously until I ended up in nursing care for a couple weeks at only 48 years old…with young kids still at home. It was a revelation.

    It is necessary, because your really DONT know when life can throw you a curve ball!

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  • This is something I really need to be looking into because I don’t want my son to have to worry about making this tough decision.

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  • My parents wanted LTC insurance. My dad qualified, my mom (who had COPD) did not, so my dad refused to take it. Now my mom is gone and my dad, who is 80, still doesn’t have it. I guess it’s time for “the talk” again.

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  • definitely a hard subject to talk about – my mom is not happy unless she is at her own house

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  • This is very important information to know and knowing would make it easier when the time comes. Thanks for the post.

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  • great to use these tips. I was always the one who doesn’t like talking about it but this made me think

    sibabe64 at ptd dot net

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  • its always good to talk about it early even if it seems too early.. :

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  • My husband and I talked about it several years ago and decided to purchase LTC insurance and were able to get a reasonably low monthly payment.

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  • definetely better to talk about it sooner rather than later.

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  • I talked about this to my parents and my husband. It’s a very important issue to discuss

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  • it just depends

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  • I agree that the sooner you start talking about it the better off you will be. I have always stated what I want when something happens that I can’t care for myself and I started talking about it at 22 years old.

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  • As a professional caregiver, I see too many children who haven’t had the “talk” with their parents, or vise-versa. It’s frustrating when my clients tell me what they want and the kids don’t or won’t listen. I believe that parents should start making their feeling know when the kids are old enough to know and understand what is being said. This should start in the teenage years if possible. Dropping little hints thru the years will let them know what you expect when the time comes for them to make a decision. When the kids are older, have the full sit-down talk. I’m a senior and my kids know exactly what I want, no questions asked.

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    • Amen, DeeAnn! I 1000% agree. I know a family that the sister was POA and kept her mother alive for almost a decade as a vegetable because SHE didn’t want her mother gone. Not fair

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  • Thank you for this article! This is a very hard talk. I recently had to have this talk with my parents after they bought their retirement home. It was very hard for me! I wish I would have read this sooner!

    lemongreen915@gmail.com

    Reply

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