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 3 Keys to Starting the Conversation

As our parents age, there is a high probability we will need to provide some type of care to help meet their health and safety needs. Since this is unfamiliar territory for most, we brought in a special guest for last week’s Stewardship Podcast to help us navigate this topic.

Kimberly Akers is the owner of Amada Senior Care Mesa, an in-home care provider for seniors in the East Valley, Scottsdale, and North Phoenix. Kimberly is an expert in senior care and loves educating families on this important area. She wants to be a resource and we are grateful that she gave us her time and expertise.

In the second half of our podcast episode, Kimberly gave us three keys to starting the conversation with our parents. Preparing for long term care can be a sensitive topic, and a lot of parents and their adult children have not talked about what they would do if one or both parents needs care.

If this is you, I hope this helps!  And be sure to listen to the full podcast.

Three keys to starting the conversation about care

Use the T.E.M.P.O framework

This simple acronym can provide the framework as you prepare for this conversation.

T: Time—pick the right time to approach this conversation. It can be emotional, and the right setting and amount of time should be considered.

E: Experience—use someone else’s experience to start the conversation. For example, “Hey mom, my friend was telling me about some of her experiences that she went through as her parents were aging and I thought we should start having that conversation.”

M: Motivation—just like the right time should be considered, make sure you are in the right mindset and have the right motivation.

P: People—what people should be involved in this conversation? Maybe you don’t need everyone around for the initial conversation (it’s not an intervention!) but ask your parents who else should be involved as you continue this dialogue.

O: Outcome—think about what your ideal outcome is going to be. Remember, these conversations typically happen in stages. You don’t need the outcome of your first conversation to solve everything. It might be to simply have a second conversation.

Educate yourself

The second step is to start educating yourself today. Unfortunately, many families seek help after a crisis has occurred. It’s much harder to make decisions in the fog of a crisis when emotions are already heightened.

When educating yourself on caring for aging parents, you can gather information about:

  • In-home care vs. assisted living
  • Your parents’ financial situation
  • Getting your parents a long term care insurance policy
  • What does Medicare cover (and what it doesn’t cover)
  • Benefits from the VA and Medicaid

Gather your tribe

Lastly, you will want to start gathering the people who will help you and your parents as they enter this stage of life.

Your tribe might consist of the following people:

  • Your siblings
  • Other family caregivers
  • In-home care agency
  • Financial planner
  • Estate planner
  • Insurance agent

Since finances are a HUGE part of this discussion, don’t guess—work with your parents’ advisors (or seek advisors if they don’t have any) to know exactly what your parents’ financial situation is.

Stewardship can help

Stewardship has insurance, investment, and estate planning advisors to help you through this time. Remember, you are not alone! As you gather your tribe, reach out to one or more of our advisors if you are seeking wise advice.