How Do You Start Uncomfortable Discussions In Your Family?

by Susan

Don’t you hate that feeling when you know you need to talk about something uncomfortable with a friend or family member and you just don’t know how to start?

I think as parents, when we think of difficult conversations we’re going to have to have in the future, we immediately think of the tough talks with our kids.

But…

What about those tough talks that we need to have with OUR own parents.

Many of us are part of this new generation of parents who not only have to worry about caring for our children, but we also have to worry about caring for our aging parents.

And it can get complicated.

In my family, I only have one aging parent that I’ll likely be responsible for looking after… my dear 70 year old mother who is currently still holding her own as the Matriarch of our family.

I hope and pray that she lives another 20+ years like her mom did, and I know that I’ll take charge of caring for her as she ages.

I have three siblings… most well known to you all would be my twin sister and co-blogger here Janice… but we also have an older brother and an older sister.

I trust we will all help with any financial needs that arise as my mom ages, but I’ve talked to my mom many times about how I want her to live with me and my family when she gets older. She’s often joked about us “putting her in a home” and I know that she dreads it. So I’ve reassured her that when the time comes, she will be living with me as long as it’s medically possible.

But not all families joke around and talk openly about such serious issues as long term care. Who is going to be financially responsible and who’s going to do the day-to-day work of caring for family members can be a very difficult discussion.

What About Your Family…

How does your family talk about uncomfortable issues such as planning for care of elderly or disabled family members?

Have you talked about such things? How did you start the conversation?

 

Read the rest of the posts in our series about planning for our financial futures…

Is Choosing To Be A Stay-at-Home Mom Risky?

My Nana lived to be 93. What if I do too?
How Is The Housing Market Where You Live?

 
This sponsored post is part a series we and several other bloggers are writing for Genworth Financial to raise awareness amongst moms about the importance of taking an active role in planning for our financial futures. To find out more about long term care planning or to talk to a financial professional visit Genworth Financial.

Written by Susan Carraretto, co-founder of 5 Minutes for Mom.
Wanna chat? Find me at: @5minutesformom, @susancarraretto and Facebook.com/5minutesformom.

Images purchased from 123RF Stock Photos.



Email Author    |    Website About Susan

Susan Carraretto and her identical twin, Janice Croze, created 5 Minutes for Mom in 2006. Susan loves all social media, but her top addiction these days is Pinterest. She recently published a children's book titled "The Pest Detectives" which you can download now in digital format for free.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shannon November 21, 2011 at 10:27 pm

For us, the parents joke about the home too, but we know that we will never let that happen unless its what they truly want. After all they cared for us for 18 years, I think I can return the favor :). I think my dad thinks I am joking when I say that he will live with me, but I can see his eyes soften with hope when I say it as well. My daughter is disabled. That one is a little harder to joke about. Actually, right now we avoid it, concentrating on her accomplishments now and pray that she will be some what independent at some point. I worry more about me not being here to care for her- and then who will. I just pray that there will always be a loving family member- an aunt, one of her brothers, a grand parent, that will look out for her and help her live her sweet life to its fullest. We will turn that page when it comes, I guess.

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2 Susan November 22, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Yes Shannon, worrying about the future of disabled children is no joke at all. In fact when I was reading up about long term care, I found that 30% of those on long term care are not elderly, but disabled.

As moms we worry so much about our children, but when a disability is part of the picture, that worry becomes such a difficult reality.

{Hugs}

Reply

3 Jessica November 21, 2011 at 11:17 pm

I am an only child and my parents are divorced. My dad was just diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I have a child with health issues and my own health issues. I am up nights trying to figure out how I am going to take care of everyone because a large part of it falls on me. I think my dad’s diagnosis helped him realize that it was time to set up advanced directives and such. He didn’t bring it up but when I did, he didn’t resist. One thing I have learned from this is the best thing a parent can do is set up their own plans ahead of time so their adult children don’t have to be put in the position to have difficult conversations. I will be doing my own directives, will and care plans when I prepare my dads.

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4 Susan November 22, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Oh Jessica, I am so very sorry!!!

Yes, you are so right that as parents one of the best gifts we can give to our children is to plan for our own financial futures so that the burden doesn’t fall on them.

Sending lots of love and support your way!

Reply

5 Sheila November 29, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Those hard conversations are better started when things are good, not in an emergency situation. Our parents mine including are all getting older every day. Start today and prepare for their future and yours.

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