079: Home for the Holidays: Time for The Talk with Elderly Parents

Many of us have been reconnecting with elderly parents and loved ones for the first time in a long time. And while we may have been in touch over the phone or via Zoom, you might be surprised at some of the changes you will see. It can be hard to accept that our parent’s health, mobility, self-sufficiency, or even safety has begun to decline. With these concerns come many questions, and you may be tempted to jump right in to help solve them, but there is a time and place for everything.

In a new episode of Absolute Trust Talk, Kirsten is joined by guest Linda Fodrini-Johnson, licensed family therapist and professional certified care manager. Together, they discuss returning home for the holidays and what to do if you notice a parent beginning to struggle with their day-to-day routine. Some tips you’ll learn about in this episode include:

  • Why it’s important to observe what’s happening in your parent’s home before you start having discussions.
  • How to prioritize any safety issues you may recognize.
  • How to determine what legal planning has been done or needs to be done.
  • Ways to break into conversation on the issues at home.

And more!

Whether this is a conversation you’ve been putting off or one you’re not sure how to start, this important episode will give you the ins and outs you need to approach your loved ones. It’s time to press play!

Big Three from Episode #079:

  1. What kind of legal planning has/have your parent(s) done? Do they have an Advance Healthcare Directive? You want to make sure Mom and Dad have all their wishes declared.
  2. To be successful in any intervention, you will first be the detector and the observer of what’s happening in the house.
  3. Did you know? The refrigerator is a great place to start to find out what’s really happening with your parents in terms of decline.

Time-stamped Show Notes:

4:39 – Linda shares some red flags we should look for in our parents when returning home for the holidays.

5:45 – Observe first, react second: Kirsten and Linda discuss what you should avoid saying to your parents when visiting.

7:06 – Linda reveals what your parent’s fridge can tell you about their well-being.

8:59 – When is a good time to bring up your concerns to your parents? Tune in to find out what Linda thinks.

9:20 – “Loving instead of Doing.” Some may be surprised to find out what this means.

9:54 – Address safety issues first – but how? Find out precisely what safety issues you should be looking for.

10:35 – It can be overwhelming to know where to start. Start listening now to determine how to observe and prioritize based on your parent’s situation.

11:04 – Does your parent have an Advance Healthcare Directive? Not sure what that is? Kirsten and Linda have your back.

14:03 – Sitting down with your parent to discuss their future can be challenging. Linda shares some tips on how to get started.

14:52 – One of Kirsten’s most important tips: have a power of attorney for finances.

15:55 – What happens if mom and dad can’t stay in their home? How do you have that conversation with them?

17:58 – Once you’ve observed what is going on in the home? How do you start a conversation without putting your parents on the defense?

21:28 – There’s only so much you can do for your parent if you’re only home for the holidays. Linda shares tips on what you can do in your limited time window.

24:18 – If you are the caregiver, don’t forget your health too! Listen in as Linda shares this critical reminder.

25:34 – Check out Linda’s book, The Empowered Caregiver: Practical and Emotional Support for Adult Children of Aging Parents, available on Amazon!

26:28 – Audience Q&A: Have you seen families use technology to help with some of the problems discussed in this episode?

28:45 – Do you have advice for the parent who shouldn’t be driving but won’t give up the car keys?

32:08 – The Ask Kirsten Segment: I’m doing probate of my mother’s estate, and she owns an undeveloped lot in Arizona. What do I do about that?


[Ad] Do you need help with legal planning for yourself or an older adult in your family? Whether it’s a power of attorney, advance healthcare directive, or other estate planning needs, the Absolute Trust Counsel team is here for you. We want to make sure you and your loved ones are protected. To get started today, with a FREE discovery call, visit our calendar to pick a date and time that works best for you, and let’s discuss your needs! If you have any other questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by calling 925.943.2740 or sending an email to Info@AbsoluteTrustCounsel.com.

Looking for more information on probate? Visit our probate resource page at https://absolutetrustcounsel.com/practice-areas/probate/ for guidebooks, podcasts, videos, and more!