I recently watched “Everybody’s Fine” with Robert De Niro and Drew Barrymore. It was a movie about the “kids” not coming home for the annual family reunion and a dad that sets out to visit each of his four adult children. Through the twists and turns of the movie it becomes very clear that not everyone has been honest with each other on what they really do for a profession, how their lives are really going, and that Dad’s health is worse than anyone knew. This movie really has me thinking, now that it is the holiday season and we are all making plans to travel home to see family or preparing for them to visit us.
How often do you have that nagging feeling that Mom or Dad seemed ok when you visited but they sure were tired? They are keeping up the house, but maybe there has been a few more signs of them not seeing as well as they used to or hearing as well as they once did. They don’t want to bring up the topic of growing older, and we don’t want to bring up the topic either because – let’s face it – we all have enough to deal with right now and we just don’t want to rock the boat.
I would encourage you to have at least one difficult discussion this holiday season with your older family members who you are concerned about. It doesn’t have to be long and it can be as simple as, “Hey, Mom, I was reading an article the other day and it mentioned the importance of having a Power of Attorney…..” Do you know if your parents have a will and if they do, do you know where it is? Do they understand that expressing their wishes with you or their attorney will make life easier for you when something does happen to them? You might be surprised to find out your loved ones have had the same concerns but don’t have the resources in place to get the answers.
Copyright 2014 Christine Smart