Here’s a lightly updated version of an article we first ran on Nov. 17, 2014. This is news most of us will eventually need to use. We’re all heading into the Thanksgiving holidays full of memories of advice articles about how to communicate with relatives about general retirement issues and long-term care (LTC) issues at family gatherings.
November is both Long-Term Care Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers’ Month for a reason — it’s the month when we think we should have difficult conversations.
Often, those conversations end up being so difficult to start that all of us, including your clients, have the conversations mainly inside the confines of our own skulls. When we do start the conversations, we may give offense and lead to a worse outcome than if we had just talked about how cold the weather has been.
Dr. Barbara Nusbaum, a psychologist who focuses on the intersection between psychology and financial issues, talked about the “big Thanksgiving conversation” issue recently at a Long-Term Care Awareness event organized by Genworth.
To learn five of her ideas about how to handle that conversation, read on.
1. Don’t actually try to talk to your mother about when she’s going into a nursing home on Thanksgiving itself.
Nusbaum says the last thing most people really want to do is to get their parents upset by starting difficult conversations on Thanksgiving.
“Bring it up at a quieter time,” Nusbaum said.
People who are staying with loved ones over the weekend could try starting the conversation on Friday, Nusbaum said.