The holidays are coming up again. Some people may be considering changing their holiday traditions due to the current events, but even if they do, holidays are the perfect time to remember your loved ones. As we come closer to Thanksgiving and the full upswing of the holiday season, have you taken any time to consider the conversations you should have over these holidays?
When it comes to your older loved ones (Grandparents, Parents, etc.) it’s essential that we take some time and tell them just how much we love them and how thankful we are for all of the hard work they have put into our lives. It’s time to ask these loved one’s how they are doing and what their goals in life are. This is also the time to ask the difficult questions that may make you feel uncomfortable. Questions like “How is your estate planning/retirement planning coming?” or “How is your current living situation?”
Questions like this can make you feel like you are invading your parent’s or grandparent’s privacy but it is important that, as a family, everyone can talk about their concerns and plans in an open environment.
How can you make things less awkward for your loved ones and yourself?
Tell them you would like to have a discussion beforehand! Don’t just spring those heavy conversations on them!
Involve everyone in the conversation. Don’t leave family members out!
LISTEN to your loved ones. Don’t just nod along with the intent to reply; pay attention and listen to their thoughts and feelings.
Spread the conversations out! If talking about these subjects is bringing everyone down, take a break, and come back to it.
So what if your loved ones say their environment is no longer supporting their lifestyle? Maybe the yard work is getting too hard or the third set of stairs to the loft is taking more out of them each time. Whatever their reason, listen to their concerns and talk to them about future plans!
If your loved ones say they’ve been considering relocating what are the next steps?
Listen to their concerns and current issues. You will want to work together to find a solution that nullifies what they don’t want to deal with.
Ask what kind of relocation they are planning. Do they want to downsize, find a Forever Home, or move into a community?
Talk about their budget and resources they have for this move. (I know it’s awkward to talk about money but it’s very important!)
If a decision is made to relocate (Or even if it’s shelved for later!) the next step would be to talk with a Senior Move Manager. We talked about what a Senior Move Manager does in a previous blog. To recap, they are accredited by the National Association of Senior Move Managers, can develop an “Age in Place” plan for any client, and they will coordinate and facilitate every aspect of a relocation including scheduling movers, assisting in selecting a realtor or senior community, and even providing oversight during the packing and unpacking process!
Even if your loved ones are not ready to take the next step in relocations, talking with a Senior Move Manager about your options would be extremely helpful. They could provide information you need to make informed decisions down the road, and they could help with some of the issues your loved ones are facing now, without the need to relocate.
If you and your loved ones are able to have these conversations, things will be much easier for everyone down the line. You don’t want to be caught later in life when a relocation is necessary but you haven’t done any research into what is required. Now is the time to start tackling those difficult conversations! Take the time to show your loved ones that you care for their well being and are willing to brave the awkwardness to do what’s best for them. After everyone is done talking, you can get right back to the holidays, content in knowing that your family’s future is a little more secure.