senior father and adult son relaxing on couch

It’s a sad fact in life, but the only surety is that one day, everyone passes away – and, with this in mind, there are some critical conversations you should have with an elderly relative before it’s too late. The aging process varies from person to person. It can go quickly or slowly, and it’s not uncommon for elderly people to suffer vision, hearing, bone, muscle, or even memory problems and issues with cognitive functioning as time passes.

Depending on the severity of the latter two, it may no longer be possible to hold important conversations with them once they reach a certain age – so you should address any pressing queries sooner than later. As such, here are a few discussions you should have with an older relative before they’re unable to answer with a sound mind.

Where are they going to live?

This point will largely depend on how capable they are and how far through the aging process they have come. There are now far more options open to the elderly in terms of where and how they live. There’s everything from specific-age adult communities (where residents must be a minimum age) through to in-home care, assisted care services (this assisted living Lancaster, Ohio has, for example), and nursing homes.

It’s of vital importance that you discuss all these options with your aging relative and try to plan a route that suits them best. Note – this decision may already be out of your hands, depending on how capable your relative is.

What is their financial situation, and have they drafted a will?

Nobody likes talking about money – particularly in the setting of your relative not being around anymore. However, you must ensure you have a clear idea of their financial state and any loans or mortgages that might still exist, etc. You should also ensure they have drafted a will and agreed on a power of attorney for when they’re no longer alive. Without these essentials, you could face a legal minefield with other relatives or, in some cases, to prove your entitlement to their assets after they’ve passed.

What is their driving ability?

As mentioned above, aging happens at different speeds for different people, but it most commonly affects eyesight, hearing, and perhaps even mobility and hand-eye coordination. While an elderly relative might still want to drive, there comes a time when these problems could prove to be a significant danger – not just to them but also to other road users.

If your relative is still driving, you should take a moment to go out with them to check their skills. Sure, they might not want to give up the independence of being able to drive, but if they’re unsafe, it’s simply not an option to allow them to stay on the road.

Do they have plans for their funeral, burial, cremation, etc?

Undoubtedly, one of the hardest conversations to have is talking about a relative like they’ve already passed – but this is also one of the most important. Before they leave this world, you should have a clear idea of what kind of service they want and where, and whether they would prefer to be buried or cremated. This is the only way to ensure they pass in the way they would have wanted.


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