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Q: What is your advice on “having the talk” with your parent? A: It can be hard to raise the subject of long-term care with your parent or loved one. Usually, as physical and mental capacity begin to diminish, the burden of care slowly shifts onto the family and eventually becomes difficult to sustain. Everyone ages; There’s no shame in getting older, though someone who has only known independence for many years may feel embarrassed to need daily assistance. That em- barrassment may manifest itself as denial or obstinacy and may make the necessary conversation concerning long-term care that much more challenging. Ideally, families would discuss future living arrangements regularly and begin those discussions before it becomes necessary. In reality, we rarely want to think about our loved one’s difficulties and as a result, the conversation is continuously put on the back burner. Here’s some practical advice if you feel that your loved one is approaching the day when they need consistent care and supervision: • Be honest. Most parents do not want to become dependent on their children, but they may not realize the time, energy, and money that their care requires of you. Lovingly communicate how a senior care residence might be best for everyone. • Be patient. Return to the conversation periodically if you sense resistance. Avoid showing frustration or anger and continue to empathize with the life change such a move would require. • Enlist a partner. Discuss this situation with other people in your loved one’s life such as his/her friends, a fam- ily physician, a clergy member, or his/her spouse. Remember you are not alone in this. I am always here to chat and answer your questions. Please call me directly or schedule a visit. I look for- ward to helping you feel comfortable. Best, Jamie Kellenbach (732) 536-3000 Executive Director Jamie Kellenbach
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