Open Communication about Long Term Care Planning Reduces Anxiety for Parents and their Children

Updated: Apr 7


Sam couldn't help but have a thousand things going through his mind every night prior to falling asleep. It wasn't his family or finances he was worried about - he was doing fine. It was his dad's. Sam lost his mom when he was a teenager. His dad never remarried and has been able to live quite a remarkable life. Sam has always been proud of his dad's involvement in the community and his success he had from starting his own company.


It wasn't even his dad's health that worried him - his father is quite spry and independent. But Sam couldn't help but worry about the "what if" scenarios in his mind since his dad was getting up there in age. "What if Dad suddenly had a heart attack or a stroke? I wouldn't know where to even begin," Sam thought.


Sam's dad comes from a generation where he is very private about his business and personal affairs, even when it comes to trusting his own son with that information. Sam worries that if he approaches his dad with his questions, his dad's reaction will be angry or dismissive. The last thing Sam wants is for his father to think he is no longer capable of managing his personal affairs. After all, he is. And he certainly doesn't want to think that Sam is only interested in what his inheritance will be - he wants to make sure that above all else it's his father's well-being overall he cares for and wants to honor his father by knowing and applying his wishes.


But what Sam doesn't know is that his own father, Tom, is also lying-in bed at night, staring at the ceiling and trying to figure out how to approach his son about his business affairs. The last thing Tom wants it to be is a burden on his son. He also has a daughter to consider, and he doesn't want her feelings to be hurt by approaching Sam to manage his business on his behalf when he can't - but his daughter lives hours away and it truly would be a matter of convenience when it comes to selecting the appropriate Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy.


Tom knows he needs to talk to his son about his affairs and wishes, but he doesn't know where to begin. Sam works such long hours, and when he isn't working he is coaching his children's ball teams on the weekends. They barely have time to catch-up weekly, let alone sit down for these conversations that seem daunting and could take hours.


Sam and Tom aren't alone. Many people fret and worry about planning for the future and what that will look like. While parents don't want to burden their children with their affairs, adult children don't want to approach their parents too soon or before they are ready.


But the reality is anything could happen to anyone at any time. Both Sam and Tom could be much less anxious if they could both just open the lines of communication and start having the discussions they need to have.


When it comes to making long term plans, many people will put it off. Sometimes out of fear of not wanting to accept our own mortality, other times out of confusion for not understanding what all needs to be done.


By having an unbiased coach that can streamline all the processes, contacts and paperwork -- Sam and Tom can have the open discussions they need to have and put together a plan that reassures them both that Tom's affairs will be handled well, and Sam will feel prepared knowing the plan of action is ready to launch when needed.


At Engage Care Partners - we want to make sure all parties are prepared and knowledgeable in the "what-if" scenarios. We can help you have a plan in order, coordinating and documenting all materials to make sure you check all the boxes, even making sure you know what boxes need to be checked. Not only does this make for a smooth transition during emotional times - it eases worry and agitation knowing what to do when the time comes for difficult decisions to be made.


From helping you navigate Advanced Directives and Powers of Attorney, establish Estate Plans and finding the right professionals to trust with your matters - or discerning best care options and where to age in place, Engage Care Partners can help streamline the process, open communication between families, and detail items that matter so that all persons are in the know and on the same page when plans need to be put into action.




Engage Care Partners LLC is owned by Brooklyn White and was established to help bridge the gap for service offerings needed by seniors, especially those impacted by chronic illness. To learn more about how Engage Care Partners can help you build your own long term care plan, contact Brooklyn White at brooklyn.white@engagecarepartners.com or call 1.205.843.1908. We serve the Greater Birmingham and Shelby County areas of Alabama.

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