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How can you talk to your parent about a nursing home stay?

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | ELDER LAW - Medicaid Planning

As our parents age, we grow concerned about their ability to care for themselves. This is a legitimate worry given that about 70% of those age 65 and older end up with long-term care needs, which may include a nursing home stay. But for many older adults, moving into a nursing home is a sign of lost independence and a downward spiral as it relates to their health. As a result, they may be hesitant to receive nursing home care.

How can you talk to your parent about a nursing home stay?

It’s going to be a difficult discussion to have, but it may be a necessary one. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Start the conversation early on while your parent is still healthy.
  • Find an angle into the conversation, which may include a news story or article about long-term care needs.
  • Bring other family members into the conversation who can help back you up.
  • Clearly articulate your concerns and why you feel that discussing a nursing home stay is appropriate.
  • Work with your parent to find ways for them to maintain control over their life and retain a sense of independence.
  • Have adequate information ready to present to them so that you can answer their questions and help them more fully understand the decision before them.
  • Don’t shy away from discussing financial concerns that they might have.

Help your parent ensure they have an estate plan that addresses long-term care needs

This point is crucial, especially if your parent is concerned about how long-term care costs will erode their hard-earned wealth. So, be sure to loop in your parent’s attorney if it looks like you need to discuss long-term care and Medicaid planning.

By being thorough in your conversation with your parent and providing them with the information they need, you’ll hopefully be able to walk them through what’s necessary to protect their well-being, their interests, and their estate.