Talking about Long-term services and supports before the need arises makes sense. Yet parents, children, spouses and partners often put it off. Even worse, we remain silent and hope things will work themselves out.
Talking about aging, finances and health can be uncomfortable and awkward. They are extremely personal and complex topics. But if you put a plan in place before a crisis occurs, your choices will be clear and likely fulfilled. That plan begins by having honest talks with those closest to you. Trained Options Counselor can help with those talks. These discussions can avoid others making important decisions when emotions are high, the choices are confusing and there’s little time to carefully weigh all the factors.
This is one of those rare times when it really is all about you. So first take the time to carefully consider the following questions.* If possible, have your spouse or partner do the same. When you’re ready, compare your answers. You may be surprised by how similar or different your answers are. That’s OK. Finding out where you agree or disagree will help guide future decisions and planning. Depending on your answers, you may want to consult with an elder law attorney.
Now you are ready to talk with your children, family or others close to you. You will choose who to talk to and what to discuss. The important thing is to start talking. If that’s hard, an Options Counselor can help you and your family. Once you start, you may find that everyone is relieved to talk about it.
Your discussions can be the foundation for a long-term services and supports plan.
Perhaps your family is not comfortable talking about your long-term services and supports needs. Acknowledge their feelings, share your concerns and perhaps try again later. A trained options counselor can also help.
* Questions based on content developed by Marlene S. Stum, Ph.D., Financial Security in Later Life National Initiative Development Team member from Family Social Science, University of Minnesota. Copyright 2002, University of Minnesota Regents. Materials may be copied for educational purposes only.
ADRC of Oregon staff are available to help you explore your options to meet your current needs or create a plan for the future.
Find information, resources and tools to help you start planning.