Communication Articles

Critical conversations need to be had with your parents prior to the move to a senior living community. Difficult discussions may also be required between family members who have different opinions about the best way to care for your parents. Good communication is always crucial to a successful move.

Senior Care and Siblings: Beware Old Rivalries

Just because you’re a family therapist doesn’t mean all of your family relationships are smooth.

Like many adult children of aging parents, psychologist Barry J. Jacobs is struggling to come to agreement with his brother about their mom’s care. He tells his story at the AARP website and shares advice he’s trying to put into place himself.

One of his tips is to remember that you’re all grown up—both you and your …Read more ›

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Expert’s Tips for Agreeing With Siblings About Parents’ Care

When you’ve argued with siblings all your life and then have to agree on something as important as your parents’ long-term care, how do you finally come to agreement? How do you make sure everyone’s at peace with whatever decision is made?

Patricia Smith, founder of the Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project, offers some advice about that in a column featured at the website for The Leader, a newspaper in Corning, NY. …Read more ›

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When Your Parent’s Self-Neglect Is Serious

Sometimes, a refusal to accept help becomes extreme. When it does, what are loved ones to do?

The New Old Age profiles some serious cases of self-neglect in seniors and suggests that sometimes, you need to call in the experts:

Mostly, these older adults live alone, shunning contact with family or friends. Relatives become frustrated when their efforts to offer assistance are rejected; they frequently drop out of the picture. Authorities become aware …Read more ›

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Concerned About Aging Parents? Beware “the Accuser.”

Concern sometimes brings out the accuser in us, even when we don’t realize it—and even when it does us no good. At, Sheri Samotin, a life-transition counselor in Naples, FL, writes about a client, Cindy, who learned this lesson the hard way.

Cindy got a call from her mom’s neighbors. They told her that her dad, who had dementia, had gotten lost recently. They thought her mother might need help caring for her dad. …Read more ›

Workbook Tells What to Ask About Aging Parents’ Finances

A conversation about finances is perhaps one of the hardest talks to start with your aging parents. So once it’s started, you want to be sure you know all the questions to ask.

“After all, you need to know much more than whether a will exists,” explains a New York Times article on the topic. “Are there powers of attorney or advanced health care directives in place? What does their health insurance …Read more ›

Elderly Parents Refuse Help? Ask This Simple Question.

It can be frustrating when an elderly parent needs help at home but refuses it. What to do?

Take a breath, and find the answer to a simple question: Why? That’s what Judy Santamaria, director of family caregiver support at Visiting Nurse Service of New York, says in an article at The Huffington Post:

Try to understand the reasons for your loved one’s resistance. Is it a fear of dependence, loss of …Read more ›

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Tip for Financial Conversations With Elderly Parents: Give Compliments

To make a money conversation with your elderly parents go smoothly, don’t boss, don’t condescend and don’t delay, advises Retiring Wise, a blog from One Reverse Mortgage. But here’s a do: Do give compliments. That can help keep your parents off the defensive.

Giving a complement to your parents as you give them advice will give them a confidence boost. For example you can say something about your parents being …Read more ›

End of Life: What If You Don’t Know What They Want?

Ideally, adult children discuss end-of-life wishes early on with their parents. But what if the time comes for decisions to be made before this talk takes place?

At the Huffington Post, one hospice expert describes how such a scenario might play out. And she points out that you might know more about your parents’ wishes than you realized. She recalls one hospice nurse’s story of how a group of adult …Read more ›

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Surprise! Parents Dropping Medigap Coverage, Not Telling Kids

It’s bad enough to deal with having a parent in the hospital, but how’d you like to find out they don’t have enough insurance to cover their care?

That’s what’s happening to some adult children, reports an article on MSN Money:

Medicare doesn’t cover everything, and Medicare supplement insurance — also known as Medigap insurance — is meant to fill in the gaps. The most popular plans can be expensive for seniors, …Read more ›

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Expert Advice: Beware of Scolding Parents Into Care

It can be frustrating when an elderly parent won’t get the long-term care or medical care you think they need. But, tempting as it can be, pushing too hard can backfire.

“Personally and professionally, I’d say to try to give options to help with the problems. Don’t just say ‘You’re going to do this,’” Joyce Brimhall, a registered nurse at a continuing care retirement community, told the paper.

Joan Williams, a retirement community spokeswoman, warned, “They don’t …Read more ›

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