Do You Know How Your Parents Are Doing?

by Laura Chiesman

Use upcoming family gatherings to find out

We are approaching a time of year where families gather more than usual. There is often a lot of action and noise but hopefully there are also quiet moments to talk and listen; time for sharing and catching up.

For families with older relatives and friends this time together can provide an opportunity to check in on how they are really doing. Are they happy, safe, and healthy and are they getting the care they need? Has the past year brought on any changes in physical or cognitive condition? If there are new issues, the family can work together to come up with solutions and plans to implement.

If all is well, there is the opportunity to take time to talk about how our loved ones see their future. Do they still like where they live and do they see a need for some extra help around the house coming up? If things should change down the road, where would they like to live and who do they want to help with decisions if needed?

Every family member brings their own strengths and resources to the table – time, skills and experience, space, patience, money…. No one person has it all.   Straightforward conversations provide the opportunity to explore and honor the contributions that each has made, or can at some point make, to the happiness and well-being of those who may need some extra help.

How to start? A well thought-out meeting provides wonderful opportunities for a family to learn more about, and to unite, all generations. Here are some starter topics for your agenda:

Current living, health and care arrangements – Are those arrangements working, and can you begin to plan for future living arrangements?

Legal documents – Do they have estate planning and other critical legal documents?

Technology – Is there a list of accounts and passwords and a trusted person to handle online bills and social accounts if needed?

Finances – What resources are available for long-term care later?

The family caregivers – Who will do what and when?

Outside help – What resources are needed to ensure the health, safety and happiness of your loved ones?

Resources – There is a great book to help work through conversations like this: The Parent Care Conversation by Dan Taylor.  For a complimentary copy please email

If you would like to meet to discuss the future, yours or your parent’s, please feel welcome to contact one of our WealthCoaches at our wealth services firm in Satellite Beach, FL.

You should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this publication serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from FirstWave Financial. A copy of the FirstWave’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available upon request.