My parents have never been ones to discuss money with my siblings and me. Until recent years, we’ve been fine with that philosophy. But both of them have experienced some pretty serious health issues in the last few years and we know they will likely need to move to an assisted living community in the Dallas area soon.
To help them figure out what they can or can’t afford, I know we are going to have to sit down and talk about their finances. I’m really dreading it. I don’t even know how to get the conversation started!
Do you have any suggestions for me? Any advice would be appreciated!
Having “The Talk” about Money with a Parent
The situation you find yourself in is one we hear often from adult children. Many members of this generation of older adults grew up not discussing money. We know that makes it tough to figure out what type of senior care a parent can afford.
Here are a few suggestions you might find helpful:
- Wait for the Right Time: While this isn’t an invitation to delay discussing such an important topic, this is a conversation that should take place when you have ample, uninterrupted time to talk. Maybe wait until you and the siblings who are most involved in your parents’ care can be together. Keep in mind, however, that you don’t want your parents to feel like you are ganging up on them. So it’s best not to involve more family members than necessary.
- Acknowledge That You are Uncomfortable: Start the conversation by explaining to your parents that you are uncomfortable talking with them about money and you know they are, too. Reassure them that knowing how they stand financially is especially important in helping them create a plan to stay independent and to allow you to assist them in case of an emergency.
- Protecting Parents from Fraud: Unfortunately, seniors have become a popular target for identity theft and scams. Explain to your parents that by allowing you regularly monitor their checking accounts and credit card statements online, you may be able to keep them and their finances safe.
Once you have a better idea of their financial situation, you and your siblings will be able to begin exploring options for their care and develop a long-term plan based on their needs. Our experienced senior living advisors will be happy to help you learn more about senior living in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
I hope this helps, Cindy! Please feel free to call us with any additional questions.
Senior Living Specialists is a free service for seniors and their families. We are compensated by a referral fee when a senior moves into a community or care home.