The holidays are times for friends and family to gather around and spend some quality time together. While some family members have seen each other just a few days ago, many relatives haven’t seen each other in weeks or months.
While most of the holiday season is spent laughing around the fire playing games or talking at the dinner table digging into the deliciously festive food, it can be a good time to also have the chance to have pivotal conversations with your aging loved ones.
Here are three important talks to have with your senior parents over the holidays:
A conversation about your parent’s wellbeing is one of or the most crucial discussion to have over the holidays. This gives you a time to sit down and talk about how they’re feeling in their everyday life not just today, surrounded by their loved ones. How are they doing at home? Are they still connected to friends around them or via the phone or internet? Or rather, are they feeling isolated? Are they making sure to stay physically active in order to boost their mood and help their bodies stay healthy? All these things can help a person’s wellbeing and it’s important to see how your loved one is doing overall with their happiness.
2. Health Status
From physical health to cognitive abilities, the health of a loved one is a critical discussion to have over the holidays. Ask your parents if they feel confident getting around places like up and down the stairs or if they feel wobbly when walking. If your loved one lives alone, it could be smart to look into getting a monitored medical alert system. In addition to their physical health, check in on their cognitive abilities. Make sure you know the warning signs of any impairment and closely watch your loved ones when you spend time with them. See if they are forgetting things they didn’t used to forget or if there are any noticeable changes in behavior. From there, have an honest and open discussion about how you feel they are doing related to their health.
3. Financial Planning
If a senior living community is the logical next step, where does your loved one want to go? Which one can they afford? What kind of assistance do they need? All of these questions are very important to talk about especially when taking a look at your loved one’s financial status. Financial planning also includes discussing legal matters like their estate planning or if they have a will. Starting these discussions about finances will help you and your parent in the present and start to prepare for what’s ahead.
If the discussion leads to some interesting insights into your loved one’s worries or concerns about their future, that’s good. This way you are communicating with each other and can now start to take action on their concerns and help them come up with solutions.
If you and your loved one(s) feel they may want to start looking into senior living communities, explore our communities at Vista Prairie Communities offered throughout Minnesota, Iowa and Ohio or contact us at (952)-837-0540.