In 2011, the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) reported a record breaking number of Baby Boomers applying for SSA benefits. This means that we, the Baby Boomer generation, who back in the 1960s referred to ourselves as “the younger generation” are now taking the place of our parents as the “older generation.”
But how much do we know about what is really important to think about as we age? Baby Boomers, have you ever thought having the “crucial conversations” with your adult children?
What do I mean by “crucial conversations”? I mean the kinds of conversations about end-of-life issues. The kinds of conversations no one wants to have, but absolutely must.
As we age, it is important that we and our children clearly understand:
- If we get suddenly and unexpectedly ill, who is going to take us to the hospital?
- What kind of care do we want?
- Where are the finances for hospital, nursing care, long-term care going to come from?
- And finally, what are our desires regarding our funeral? Who is going to pay for it?
If we as parents don’t have these discussions with our adult children, all hell can break loose when we are too ill to intervene, with everyone expressing different desires, often putting stress upon everyone involved.
So, stop and think about it.
Now is the time to have that family meeting and discuss your wishes regarding end-of-life issues. When a parent—or anyone, for that matter—reaches the stage of life that is the end of life, there needs to be a way provided for that person to die with dignity and in relative peace. For children, this can be a difficult transition, and confusion and strife are not optimal. However, when your family is prepared in matters of finance, medical care, end-of-life choices, this allows siblings to be good partners for each other and strong advocates for the wishes of the parents.
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