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Have you Asked the Questions?

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

When I talk to people about what I do, they frequently tell me that “my mom/dad is healthy right now, but I know I will need your help some day.” If asked, they often admit they have not had any conversations with their parent about the future. Their loved one doesn’t want to talk about it, and no one likes having an uncomfortable conversation. Both sides have a sense that there is time. Unfortunately, life doesn’t grant guarantees. More than half of my clients come to me when there has been some kind of sudden health event. They often go from the hospital to rehab and it becomes clear that living in a house is no longer an option.

Imagine if this happened to your loved one. Are they living in another state, making it hard for you to get there quickly? Would you have the Healthcare Power of Attorney in place to allow the doctors to speak with you and make decisions? Do you have Durable Power of Attorney to be able to pay their bills? Do you have a full understanding of their finances to know what type of community or home support options they can afford? If the answers are no, then decisions for them are going to be made by hospitals, banks, and even courts.

If your relatively healthy, aging loved ones don’t want to have the conversation, write them a letter or email and ask them to role play that scenario. Without partnering with you ahead of time, can they imagine how much control they could lose over their healthcare and their assets?

Having that conversation isn’t easy, but both of you will be glad you did it. Once you break through that fear of losing control, planning for the future becomes so much easier.

Penny Brandt-Roy helps clients find senior communities in the Metro Atlanta area. For more information on her free service, visit

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