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Caring Conversations : How Parents and Adult Children Can Plan for the Future Jenny Inker, Executive Director Chambrel at Williamsburg.

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Presentation on theme: "Caring Conversations : How Parents and Adult Children Can Plan for the Future Jenny Inker, Executive Director Chambrel at Williamsburg."— Presentation transcript:

1 Caring Conversations : How Parents and Adult Children Can Plan for the Future Jenny Inker, Executive Director Chambrel at Williamsburg

2 Highlights What aging will mean to us & our society How to be a partner, not a parent How to start…and continue…conversations Hoping for the best, planning for the worst Additional resources 2 Caring Conversations| June 5, 2013

3 A professional and a personal interest Trained Gerontologist (VCU – 2013) Executive Director of Chambrel at Williamsburg Adult daughter of aging parents 3 Caring Conversations | June 5, 2013

4 We are ALL aging We are ALL aging from the moment we are born…and growing and developing our whole lives. However, our society fears aging and misunderstands it. Younger people may mistakenly ‘infantalize’ older adults. Older adults may unwisely avoid thinking about the future. 4 Caring Conversations| June 5, 2013

5 Aging: What it will mean to our society 30 million American households are caring for an older relative. This number will DOUBLE over the next 25 years. Caregiving for an older relative will become as common as childcare. Caregivers recently reported an average loss of income of $555,443 due to the unanticipated consequences of their caregiving responsibilities. AARP (2012); MetLife Mature Marketplace (2012) 5 Caring Conversations June 5, 2013

6 There is parenting…and partnering Adult children may become more involved with parents as they age BUT roles do not reverse. Maintaining a sense of self-esteem and autonomy are very important to older adults. Adult children need to be careful not to undermine parents by assuming they are incompetent. (Fingerman & Birditt, 2011) 6 Caring Conversations| June 5, 2013

7 What parenting looks like Paternalism trumps autonomy. OR –Autonomy results in risky behavior. Negotiation is not necessary. You are handling a crisis which is happening now. 7 Caring Conversations| June 5, 2013

8 What parenting sounds like “I can’t get them to listen.” “They won’t take my advice, even though it’s for their own good!” ”Why are they so stubborn – don’t they know what’s good for them?” “Just leave me alone. I know what I am doing.” “No one can tell me what to do.” 8 Caring Conversations| June 5, 2013

9 What partnering looks like You have a common goal and mutual interest. Values are openly discussed – your need for autonomy/their desire for safety. You are planning for the FUTURE. 9 Caring Conversations| June 5, 2013

10 What partnering sounds like “I’d like to talk with you about what I want in the future. Let’s start with what is most important to me.” “We’d like to talk with you about what we want to do if we need more help one day.” “I understand that this is hard to talk about. It is upsetting for me too, but it’s important for us to start thinking about the future.” 10 Caring Conversations| June 5, 2013

11 So how do you have ‘the talk’? 11 Caring Conversations| June 5, 2013

12 A conversation, not a ‘talk’ This will be an on-going dialogue – a conversation that can continue over time. Planning those conversations will help. Set the TEMPO: Time Experience Motivation Place, People Outcome 12 Caring Conversations| June 5, 2013

13 Make the time Younger people may be easily distracted by multiple priorities. Older people process information more slowly. Don’t rush these conversations or allow distractions. 13 Caring Conversations| June 5, 2013

14 Experience Try opening the conversational door by referring to someone else’s experience. “My friend Jan recently talked with her kids about what she will do when she can’t live alone anymore. I thought it would be good for us to talk about this too.” 14 Caring Conversations| June 5, 2013

15 Motivation Are you frustrated? Angry? Annoyed? Scared? This is not the time to talk! You need to be in the right frame of mind when you settle down to these conversations. 15 Caring Conversations| June 5, 2013

16 Place and People Create or find a ‘safe’ space according to how you and your adult children would define it. The Thanksgiving dinner table is unlikely to be it! Who should be there? All siblings? Others? 16 Caring Conversations | June 5, 2013

17 Outcome Your goal is to establish an open, ongoing conversation. It is not get an answer now. Think of yourself as laying the groundwork so that your adult children can understand your feelings, wishes and needs. “It’s ok if we talk about this more later. I just wanted us to start thinking about how we would handle some of these things.” 17 Caring Conversations | June 5, 2013

18 Hope vs. a Plan Hope for the best and plan for the worst! 18 Caring Conversations | June 5, 2013

19 Your conversations should include… Your legal documents Where are your will, durable power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney (advance medical directive) and/or a living will. Remember that people can’t honor your wishes if they do not know what they are and how to execute them. 19 Caring Conversations | June 5, 2013

20 Your conversations should include What happens when you need more help? Will you want to stay at home? Who will help you? Do you expect family members to care for you? Do they know this? Can they? What happens if you can’t stay at home? Have you visited senior living communities in your area? How will the decision to move be handled? 20 Caring Conversations | June 5, 2013

21 Your conversations should include Your expectations of your adult children How much will they be able to/want to assist you? Will that be financial, physical and/or emotional assistance? How will siblings agree this and share it out? 21 Caring Conversations | June 5, 2013

22 Your conversations should include Managing money Will you want help with this at some point or do you want to do this on your own? Long-term care insurance Do you have a policy? If so, where is it? What does it cover? Are you keeping up with premiums? 22 Caring Conversations | June 5, 2013

23 Your conversations should include When should you give up driving? What happens if you are not safe driving? What if you don’t agree about this? How will you get to doctors’ appointments? The grocery store? Church? 23 Caring Conversations | June 5, 2013

24 Your conversations may include Your health This may be a very private area for you…but many have found that it helps to have an ‘advocate’ in the healthcare system. Do you have treatable conditions that are going un- treated because you think they are ‘normal’ for aging (depression, UTI)? Are you taking medications safely? 24 Caring Conversations | June 5, 2013

25 Where can you go for more information? Some on-line resources that may help you: AARP’s Prepare to Care Planning Guide for Families – a one stop shop onlinewww.SeniorNavigator.org – to find your local area Agency on Aging and to understand the national and local aging networkswww.N4A.org 25 Caring Conversations | June 5, 2013

26 Where can you go for more information? The Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health 3901 Treyburn Drive, Williamsburg, Virginia Tel Geriatric assessment clinic focusing on memory loss, incontinence, fall risk, depression, medication issues -Driver safety assessments, driver rehabilitation and driver safety training -Clinical trials 26 Caring Conversations | June 5, 2013

27 Where can you go for more information? For support groups and educational events free and open to the public contact: Colonial Heritage Community Foundation (CHCF) at or contact Joan Bender at Name of Presentation | Date of Presentation

28 Come see us to discover how senior living can preserve your independence! Chambrel at Williamsburg 3800 Treyburn Drive Williamsburg, VA Tel Caring Conversations | June 5, 2013

29 Good Luck! THANK YOU FOR LISTENING! 29 Caring Conversations | June 5, 2013

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