As much as the holidays are time for celebration and joy, they may also be the time for important discussions with aging parents and loved ones about retirement, care needs, and financial decisions for the future.

If you are taking care of your aging mom, dad, grandparents, or another loved one, it may be time to talk about the future, while in the present. If you travel to visit them for the holidays, you may find concerns when you arrive. You may see changes in how they are caring for themselves or their home or you may worry about their memory or other cognitive decline. Visiting for the holidays is supposed to be a joyous time and they have been looking forward to your visit, so you won’t want to bombard them with your concerns, especially on the specific holiday days. The days surrounding the actual holiday might be a good time to discuss your concerns because their mood is upbeat and positive, and you may be more likely to get an open discussion about how they see their life and their future. It may also help if there is a loving family group and others are concerned as well. It needs to be a gentle conversation and not one that will turn into disagreements, as this is a special time of year for all of you.

Most people like to put off the tough discussions about what the future holds. These conversations can be uncomfortable, and your loved ones have managed their own lives for many years so it can seem intrusive. The approach that works best is that you want to help them accomplish their goals and have the life that they want to live. You want to support them, not take away their independence or autonomy.

Are your parents nearing retirement age? Are they looking at downsizing, traveling, or moving? Or, if they’ve retired already and have advanced in age, have they considered what they want their aging process to look like and what they might desire for long-term care needs? Will they share their financial situation so that you know if they are fully prepared or if you will need to help with care needs in the future? Of course, your discussion doesn’t need to be a deep dive with an audience of holiday guests. If they are resistant, ask them if there would be a better time to discuss it. Assure them that you are not prying but instead are attempting to find out where you can be the best support for them.

The most significant benefit you can bring to the table is discussing an Aging Life Care Manager®, also known as a Geriatric Care Manager, who has the knowledge and experience to educate everyone involved about the things that they will encounter as they age and how to manage things through retirement that can impact their finances when it comes time to downsize, they need additional care arrangements, or perhaps they begin having memory decline. These are the things that require your loved one’s financial health to be known and in order.

Taking time to find out how your loved one is doing is not an easy task, but it can be done with love and respect. The fact that you are willing to step up, realize what a big challenge this stage of life will be, and ask for help from experts shows your willingness to go the extra mile to make sure they have the best care possible, just as they cared for you.

If you or someone in your family are facing concerns about aging, please give us a call at (920) 740-8441 or email us at We’ll be happy to assist!