Quad Cities, IL/IA

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Let’s Talk Part 2 of a 2 part series.


By Karen McCoy, Marketing Consultant, Ridgecrest Village

Ideally, you read last month’s article and gave it some thought. Maybe you have started the conversation with your loved one. As promised, here are more topics for discussion.

Living arrangements and long-term care

Everyone wants to maintain their independence, but aging brings changes that threaten this independence. Talking about options before a crisis is especially important. Below are some topics to ease you into the conversation and help with planning.

  • Driving status. Any recent fender benders or accidents? When was the last time there was a vision exam? Do current glasses provide adequate correction? Has he/she taken a driving review class lately?
  • Need for additional help. Where would he/she like to receive needed help? In their home? Are they willing to use in-home and community-based services? What are their real feelings about having strangers coming into their home? Are they receptive to other living arrangements, e.g. living with family, assisted living, or other residential care? What can they afford?

Financial planning

Putting finances in order can bring peace of mind and provide protection when life changes occur. This can be a very touchy subject. Because it may feel as if people are prying, make this a conversation about planning for emergencies:

  • General overview of financial resources and expenses. Who can sign on the bank accounts? Pay bills in the event of an emergency? Who has been delegated the responsibility to manage financial issues?
  • Is there a Durable Power of Attorney? Has there been any estate planning? Who are the financial advisors? Where can things be found: bank and investment accounts, and other important financial documents?

End-of-life issues

Discuss important issues before the time comes. When someone can’t speak for him or her self anymore, family misunderstandings can result. To avoid this, be sure your loved one shares his/her wishes. This will allow things to be handled the way he/she prefers. Plus, your family won’t be left guessing about what to do.

  • Discuss desires for medical care if terminally ill and feelings about life-saving measures.
  • Is there a living will? A durable power of attorney for health care?
  • What about burial and funeral arrangements? Is there a burial policy? Is there a will or trust? Is it up-to-date?
  • Where are the documents? Who are the legal advisors?

These conversations can help a loved one maintain control at a time in their lives when they may have difficulty speaking for themselves. They provide important guidance for a family faced with a sudden or difficult decision. They can help preserve independence, dignity, and quality of life. Conversations about important life issues may not always be easy, but they are vitally important. They prompt us to look into the future and wrestle with difficult issues.

Remember, most people want to have these conversations, they just don’t know where to begin. So, start talking.This information was gathered from articles on the internet and is meant to help you get a conversation started. Go to: https://theconversationproject.org/starter-kits/ for a starter kit that contains ways to start the conversation.

Ridgecrest offers answers to living arrangements, contact Karen McCoy or Mary Huebbe at 563-391-3430, for more information and to schedule a tour and lunch.