Adult Children of Aging Parents: Your Job Is To Talk

How Adult Children of Aging Parents can turn thought into action – Begin the talk.

You know the feeling. The one you get when you hear or read something that simply nails it? I experienced that feeling just this week. While planning some seasonal posts and preps (that’s what I call the 45-60 second commercials we use at networking events) I found an article that uncomfortable intersection of seeing change and beginning to question everything.

Here are the words that struck me. The writer or columnist was relaying a story about an Adult Child, a daughter swimming in her pre-Thanksgiving thoughts. “Can Mom still handle making the traditional big dinner? Is it too much, should we all pitch in? Should I merely begin to help or is it time for me to take on hosting the big dinner myself? How could I, or would I be taking that away from Mom?” The daughter was weighing the challenge, not only the task but wondering how much to do, how to suggest it and how it might best be received. There is a conversation at hand, spoken or unspoken. It was the Tug to Talk.

When Is It Time For The Talk?

Every year at this time we begin to see the advance of print and online articles that prompt us to look for changes when we are visiting with our seniors. We must be open to noticing signs of change that indicate it’s time for the talk. Let me just add here that I read those articles, all of them, without fail because I consider it to be important and lifesaving information. One never knows which combinations of words could strike someone and motivate them to take action. Me, I am filling my quill.

In this case the daughter is getting the Tug to Talk: a big signal, horns blowing, and undeniable you-will attend-to-me thoughts. We are always glad to learn of someone’s newfound awareness and even more glad to see Adult Children act on that Tug to Talk. There is additional and seasonal good news to consider. (Part of me wants to exclaim “But wait! There’s more”…).

On the coattails of all the forthcoming articles about “what to look for as you visit over the coming holiday season” will be many helpful hints about starting the conversation. We posted one last year called INVESTIG-ATE that provides some conversation lead-ins.  Check out the article for tips on how to initiate the talk.

Perhaps the words are not easy for the Adult Child. Maybe this kind of conversation seems alien or will require you to learn a new skill. Remember, we all had to learn how to hold a big stick of wood with graphite in it and scratch that against a piece of paper, making marks that others could in turn actually decipher. Conversation and related skills are learned, too.

NAVIGATE NC LogoRelief is on the way. Assistance will be abundant, and will be readily and seasonally available beginning NOW. Why not embrace it, for yourself or to help another? Be open to reading those articles, they will now dance before you.

Reading conversation starters empowers me. It helps me to better communicate and find ways to educate families so they can get The Job done. The Job might be talking, really talking. Or brainstorming, or simply reacting and affording others the same privilege. It may be bringing others on board, coordinating. It may be circling the wagons –whatever, you must have the talk.

The Job is taking action.  The Job is to answer the Tug to Talk.  And we can help here.


Are you feeling the Tug to Talk? Need to know where to begin or how to maximize your family time together this holiday season? Navigate NC can help with conversation starters and plans of action. CONNECT WITH US  or simply call us at (919) 628-4428 to schedule your free initial consultation.

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