Family Reunion–a Good Time for Family Planning

Springtime brings a lot of family time. With family reunions, picnics, weddings and other events, long distant family members travel to gather together. It is also the perfect time to do some planning for the future. With parents aging and their health and lifestyles changing, children need to discuss some changes and decisions that will be needed in the near future. Parents should take the time to tell their children where important documents are kept and what their wishes are in the event of needing health care directives or experiencing long term care needs.
For those children who live away, the change they see in their parent’s health and mental capacity may be alarming — whereas siblings that have daily contact are working with these issues constantly. Here is the chance to compare notes and work together as a complete family in the long term care planning process.
 For you parents who are well and active, this is a good time to hold a family meeting and share with your children your plan for long term care. Tell them where financial and legal documents are located. Review health care directives, living wills and long term care alternatives.
 Experience has shown that even families that are close can quickly grow angry, jealous and hostile towards each other when an aging parent begins to need long term care. If a sibling moves into the parent’s home, others can easily be suspicious of ulterior motives and fear losing their inheritance. On the other hand, the child providing the elder care becomes bitter and feels there is no support or help from siblings. Pre-need meetings for the purpose of making a plan, before eldercare becomes imminent, avoids these types of conflicts.
The U.S Department of Health and Human Services states:
“No one wants to think about a time when they might need long-term care. So planning ahead for this possibility often gets put off. Most people first learn about long-term care when they or a loved one need care. Then their options are often limited by lack of information, the immediate need for services, and insufficient resources to pay for preferred services. Planning ahead allows you to have more control over your future”.
“Whether you plan a formal meeting with an agenda or informally gather for a discussion, when the family is together make it a point to start the long term care planning process.
For more information on long term care options, please contact us at

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