Adult Children of Aging Parents: Seasonal Conversations

The Adult Children of aging parents are in action. It’s TWEEN TIME.

Tween Time” designates the time between Thanksgiving and any other holidays families observe. And observe they do. They are seeing changes in their aging loved ones.

senior care, raleigh-durham, n.c.

In recent weeks NAVIGATE NC has in conversation and consultation provided tools and coaching leading up to the days when families will gather and everyone’s changes come to the fore.

The Adult Children of our senior clients have fanned out like soldiers on a mission. Whatever the mix of determination, knowledge or apprehension, they set out to gain (or even offer) new perspective as they visited with family. Kind of a “ready or not” situation. And they are measuring.

They are measuring changes in their elders that perhaps are new or simply gone unnoticed until now. Changes that while known (maybe we should coin it “gnown”, to designate known + gnawing at us!), have increased in prominence. Maybe they are witnessing undeniable changes that are signaling the need for response. What they are seeing is as much of a mix as the people seeing it or the feelings that surface.

Some Adult Children
hope to simply spend more time with the seniors in their clan, to foster relationships, to draw the young alongside the old, to bond, share, and connect.

A few had already shared with us that actual conversations of a serious nature were not indicated during their gathering, but they would be having a look around to see how things were going for their older relatives. We’ve already been providing quite a lot of education as to what to observe, and how to note changes

Other Adult Children have visions of conversations they wish to hold with their aging parents (Talk early, Talk often). They needed advice on how to start the conversations, when, and what to say. Still others are on a mission to find and organize important documents. We wrote about RECON missions during this same time last year.

NAVIGATE NC entertains requests for coaching along these lines routinely, or else we offer it up a lot! We talk a lot about language, “when to’s”, “how to’s” and lead-ins. Conversation starters, and what to do when resistance is encountered. (Actually, that’s why our logo is a ship. We know the winds of life will change and we must be ready to adjust the sails. We also must be able to alter the course or to return to the original heading. Such is with conversation).

Nearly everyone feels better when they have a little something to go on. Better prepared. Fan out!

And so begins the season of extra calls and emails. That’s fine with us, its part of what we do. If our families get stuck, we will assist and offer solutions. “See-sonal” response, and planning.

Here is a sampling of “TWEEN TIME” questions that folks are bringing to us. If you find yourself in here it is likely NAVIGATE NC can assist your family:

Mom is so tired but she insists on caring for Dad. How can I help her?

Will you send me that link again that explains (the concern)? I need it over here, and to share with my sister.

Do you offer retainer services? Remember, I am 1.5 hours away and my brother lives out of state.

Here’s what we found as far as Legal/Financial documents; anything else we should look for?

Dad’s clamming up. Can you help me to know how to ease into our talk about (XYZ)?

Mom and Dad don’t seem to have as much energy as they used to. Should we be worried?

Please send me that information you offered on the different Levels of Care, and about how to choose housing.

Now what? I don’t know what she needs, or what I need. Where do we start?

We are going to need help with understanding how to best pay for care. Do you help with that?

How do we find out how much money my parents have and if it will be enough?

I could not get my folks to tell me anything they “do”. They stay in the house with the TV blaring and no outside contact like friends or church. There’s plenty going on in their community but they have just stopped.

Can we give Mom’s caregiver a holiday gift to show our appreciation? What would be a good gift suggestion?

I am concerned with the home my folks have lived in since 1970. I worry about safety, and my parent’s ability to maintain the home. Do you help with this?

My father is adamant that he is OK to drive for local errands. I disagree, say so, and he gets mad. I am afraid for him. What can I do?

So many medications! But how do we know if she takes it? –and how does she remember it all?

Why so many assessments? We just took her to the doctor, now the insurance company wants to send a nurse out, and the facility my mother is hoping to move to does also. Is all this normal, necessary?

My family bunked with my wife’s parents over Thanksgiving. We had to move there stacks of papers and stuff from the chairs, beds, the floor. The closets are bulging. Could you take a look at this?

I called Dad’s doctor, but was barely able to speak with the nurse. Can you help us to learn more about (XYZ)?

We started looking at insurance bills. Medicare paid for things and then began to deny. What’s happening?

It was as you described it may be, and more: -the stacks of bills (or the “official-looking” mailings designed to LOOK like bills), household disarray, old food pushed to the back of the refrigerator… When can we move forward with an Assessment?

Mom was accurate. The physician isn’t really listening or seems not to care. What can we do now?

I am going with Dad to the ophthalmologist. Can I get him to tell Dad to stop driving?

We see that we’ll need to talk about housing: staying, maybe moving. What if one parent has memory issues and the other seems fine? Where do we begin?

The subject of downsizing just sort of popped up. A neighbor has moved into a community and Mom had a brochure. Running with it, we went online but soon became overwhelmed with all the housing information. How do we sift?

I feel my folks will not want to hire help. How may I arrange for it, introduce it?

Yes, the Adult Children as foot soldiers have fanned out, reconnoitered, and returned with enough ammo for many a discussion. Well done.

Let us now proceed to solutions.

NAVIGATE NC works in direct service to seniors in the Triangle NC area by offering Assessment, Home Audit, continuing services, Gift Certificates and more. We offer free consultations by phone including a limited number of evening appointments. Call us at (919) 628-4428 or CONNECT WITH US  at

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