The Emotional Side of Advanced Planning

Written by Walt Kasmir, Ph.D.

Advocate, Aging Expert, and Globally Sought-After Trainer.

November 16, 2023

Navigating the Heart of the Matter

Welcome back to our enlightening series on Advanced Planning. If you’re an Adult Child of an Aging Parent (ACAP), you’re in a unique position that comes with its own set of emotional complexities. We’ve talked about the legal and financial aspects, but today, let’s delve into the emotional side of things.

The Elephant in the Room

Discussing advanced planning can feel like you’re acknowledging the elephant in the room—that our parents are aging and that life is finite. It’s a topic laden with emotion, but it’s also a necessary one.

The Emotional Currency

When we talk about advanced planning, we’re not just dealing with legal documents and financial assets; we’re dealing with emotional currency. These are conversations about love, respect, and legacy. They’re about understanding your parents’ wishes and ensuring they’re honored.

The Balancing Act

As an ACAP, you’re often caught in a balancing act. On one hand, you want to respect your parents’ independence; on the other, you want to ensure they’re well taken care of. Advanced planning helps strike that balance. It allows your parents to articulate their wishes clearly, giving them a sense of control and dignity.

Take Action: Use empathetic language. Instead of saying, “We need to plan for when you can’t take care of yourself,” try, “Let’s make sure your wishes are honored no matter what life brings.”

The Gift of Clarity

One of the most significant gifts you can give your parents—and yourself—is the gift of clarity. Knowing exactly what your parents want in various scenarios removes the guesswork and potential guilt down the line.

The Time is Now

I’ll say it again—the time to act is now. Emotional preparedness is just as crucial as legal and financial preparedness. So take that step. Open the door to these vital conversations. It might be uncomfortable at first, but the peace of mind it brings is priceless.

Until then, keep those lines of communication open and your hearts full.

Dr. Walt Your Favorite Eldercare Coach and Advocate

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