"Pick a good time, a quiet time to have your talk," Smith said. "Don't do it during
Smith also recommended that children share their observations, concerns and feelings with their elderly parents.
"Maybe you've noticed that your mom and dad have been struggling to keep up the house or they aren't buying groceries or throwing away expired food," Smith said. "It isn't easy to address these topics, but your loved ones need to know you care."
In addition, Smith continued, it is important for children to listen to their parents' concerns and wishes and to let them know that they will work with them as their advocates.
Finally, Smith concluded, the conversation should end with a plan.
"This will ensure that there are shared expectations about the next steps," she said. "You also want to make sure that you have an agreed upon plan if your loved ones can no longer make decisions or in the event of an emergency. Maybe your parents aren't interested in making a move right then to assisted living, but you might tell them, 'Let's leave the door open' or 'lets' have a plan on the back burner.'"
Also in the handout distributed by Smith were recommendations for assessing well-being and cognitive ability, financial planning and legal planning.
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