Top Ten Traps to Avoid when Planning for Aging Family Members: Number 1

The first trap to avoid is avoidance itself.  Avoiding difficult or uncomfortable discussions can make relationships and situations worse in the long term. 

—Ensure that you talk about finances (estate planning, inheritance, care costs) and if possible, involve several close family members so everyone is “on the same page.”  Remember to talk about the “what ifs” such as What will happen if the aging person becomes critically ill, or is dependent on machines.
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There are often differences of opinion among adult siblings and other family members about what should happen.  Find ways to have open conversations about these differences and also look for similarities.  If you keep talking and trying to understand each other you may be surprised at what you can agree on.
 
Here’s an article with more information about communication when family members are aging.   http://fcs.tamu.edu/families/aging/elder_care/helping_when_health_fails.php
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