Ageing is inevitable and having upfront, open conversations with your adult children about getting older and your changing needs will help avoid family tensions later on. It’s important to ensure everyone is on-board with your wishes.
There are key landmarks in our lives when we need to have “the talk”. What should we study? What do we want to do with our lives? Shall we get married? Should we have children now? And so it goes on. But rarely do we have ‘the talk’ about ageing.
Whatever age we are, nobody likes to think about getting older and hearing our parents talk about it can be upsetting. So how about raising this delicate subject with a bright and positive approach? As the Dalai Lama famously said: “Choose to be optimistic. It feels better.” He’s not wrong.
You can start the chat by asking them how they are feeling about their own ageing journey. Maybe they’re at that over-tired parent stage or discovering that their knees don’t fare as well as they used to after a workout at the gym. Find something that they can identify with and open up the conversation from there. Share personal experiences, empathise, and then segue into tackling grittier subjects such as health and finances.
Finances always play on the mind, whatever stage of life you’re at. Stay on top of yours and let your children know about essential details. Reassure them that you’re planning, or have already sorted, your financial, health care and living arrangements for the future. Take a deep breath and talk about funeral plans – it’s not easy. However, they’ll really appreciate your honesty and feel like you’ve kept them involved with your wishes.
This is also your golden opportunity to lead by example. Demonstrate to younger family members how to age well; resolve to be their inspiration. Keep yourself in the best shape you can. Schedule those health appointments and screenings, learn some new skills by enrolling on a course, and don’t forget to take time for life’s small pleasures. Arrange a holiday, relax with some gardening or take up yoga or Pilates to give yourself some me-time. Active participation is great for physical and mental well-being plus gives you the opportunity to tell the family about your new experiences.
At Stiltz Homelifts, taking care of the future is what they do. “We know that helping you stay in control of your independence will give you peace of mind for years to come,” said Mike Lord, CEO of Stiltz Homelifts, “Our home lifts give you the freedom to live well and safely in your own home for longer, meaning downsizing to later living properties only really needs to be considered as a last resort.”