These conversations can go in all sorts of
directions. Sometimes it’s best to let that happen.
But there are a few key issues you should cover:
How Things Are Now – Is the person you care about
already facing challenges that you may not be aware
of? Do you have a clear and realistic view of their
current daily lives? Do they have any health
problems? Are there things that can be done now to
make life easier?
Option A and Option B – We all need a plan no matter
what our age. If there is a crisis, how will this
person get help? Who will call you and who will you
call? Do you have contact information for relatives,
neighbors, friends, doctors, lawyers, and local
service providers? Consider creating a telephone
checklist in case you need to make calls on anyone’s
behalf. It’s a nice-to-have regardless.
Legal Issues – Pretty much every adult should have:
- An up-to-date will
- A durable power of attorney (giving someone the
authority to make financial and legal decisions on
- A living will (outlining wishes for end-of-life
care), and a power of attorney for health care
(which is geared specifically toward medical
Be sure your loved ones have these documents, and
make sure you know where they are kept.
No Place Like Home – Most people want to stay in
their own homes, but it’s not always an option. If
necessary, can the house be made more accessible
(first-floor bedroom, ramps, etc.)? Where would your
mother want to live if she couldn’t stay at home?
What if your father couldn’t live with other family
members? What options are available? What matters
most to them? The answers may surprise you.