Discuss Elder Care Before it’s Needed

“I am embarrassed to discuss elder care with my parents, and they never bring it up,” people often tell me. “Is it really necessary to plan?”

Yes, it is crucial that you prepare for elder care. When adult children have met with each other and their elders, reviewed finances, assessed home care or nursing home options, and planned with an attorney, they are ready for the 3 AM call announcing mom’s severe stroke. And elders can control their lives, to the end, if they make their wishes known before the stroke occurs.

Unfortunately, it is common for both generations to postpone the inevitably tough discussions that accompany elder-care planning. Yet decisions made without prior planning, in the heat of a crisis, result in unsuitable care choices, family feuds and money unwisely spent.

Don’t procrastinate. Start with these suggestions, and make elder care planning a New Year’s resolution that you keep:


New Lifestyles, a nationwide directory of all care facilities: 1 (800) 869-9549 (www.newlifestyles.com)

Eldercare locator (nationwide community resources): 1 (800) 677-1116 (www.n4a.org)

National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys: 1 (520) 881-4005 (www.naela.com)

National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers: 1 (520) 881-8008 (www.caremanager.org)