Importance of Communication, Pt. 1

Communication, p1When Marjorie and Jim (not their real names) started showing signs of failing health, their daughter Susan sat down with them to discuss what kind of care they wanted if the time came when they weren’t able to take care of themselves fully. They didn’t want to leave their home and had enough insurance and assets to cover the cost of private, in-home caregivers. Susan found it uncomfortable bringing up the subject, but if she hadn’t, she wouldn’t have known her parents’ wishes or that they could financially afford what they wanted. Marjorie and Jim were relieved that Susan had asked them; it allowed them to feel comfortable that they could direct their future care.

This scenario illustrates how essential communication is between adult children and their parents. Having this conversation when your loved one is still able to tell you what they want allows that loved one to maintain some control of their lives if they later become impaired but still cognizant. That feeling of control and respect is critical for their continued mental and physical well-being.

But there’s another part to this story: Susan’s two siblings were opposed to what Susan told them their parents wanted. Next article, we’ll talk about that.

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Sid Gerber