It’s time to talk: Get your parents to discuss future care

If your mom or dad is getting to a point where they may need nursing home care in the future, you may be at a loss for what to do next. You wish you could allow them to stay home and receive care, but that isn’t going to be possible.

At this stage, it’s a good time to talk to their attorney with them about helping them qualify for Medicaid and building an estate plan that gives them all that they need to be comfortable as they age.

Before a nursing home is necessary, it’s a good time to talk to your mom or dad about:

  • The kind of care that they want
  • The amenities that they’d like to have
  • How they want to pay for this care (long-term care planning, Medicaid and insurance may all be key in this discussion)
  • Their expectations. Do they want to live at home as long as possible? Would they prefer assisted living or just to go straight into a nursing home?

It is important to keep this discussion going, even if your mother or father doesn’t want to talk about it. Even if you just plant the seed of the discussion with them, it may get them started thinking about what they want to have happen in the future.

It may be a good time to show your parents around local assisted-living facilities, too. While they’re still capable of making their own decisions, they’ll appreciate knowing that they were listened to and had choices when deciding on a nursing home or assisted-living facility. Let them see multiple facilities, so they can choose the one that they feel is most appropriate for them.

If you’re starting to think that long-term care planning is going to be a major issue in the future, you may want to set an appointment up with your local attorney to discuss elder law and estate planning with your parents. If they haven’t yet made an estate plan, now is the time to have them sit down with an attorney to have a meeting about the documents they’ll need and why estate planning is so important.

Estate plans and knowing that long-term care decisions are already made can make life much easier for parents and their children who may be making decisions for them in the future. Planning earlier on can give everyone a good sense of control and make this a positive conversation.

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Peoria, IL 61602
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NELFC - National Elder Law Foundation
CAP - Council of Advanced Practitioners | NAELA - National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc.
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