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Listening is Key with Aged Adults

Mary Lynn Pannen is one of the nation's leading experts on Geriatric Care Management and Home Care for seniors. As President of Sound Options, she has built a very successful home care business in the Puget Sound region. Mary Lynn recently described her company's service this way: "Able to transform potentially stressful circumstances into readily manageable solutions, Sound Options works with clients with a wide range of needs and medical conditions." I was struck with how similar her mission is to my mission in constructing comprehensive and well-thought-out estate plans. For those of you wrestling with plans for your older adult parents, I thought you would benefit from this recent blog post by Mary Lynn.

One of the reasons that I am intrigued with working with older adults is their life stories. I really like listening to how a person summarizes their life or how they remember the simplest detail. Listening is a pleasure and it is so important while helping older adults live out the last chapters of their lives. One can learn so much by listening. As an adult child you may hear things you never knew before and that may allow you to see your parent in a different light. You may learn the very reason for why your parent made decisions - good or bad. I find listening creates for me more understanding and that at the end of the day we all have similar wishes and desires.

  1. If possible have your older parent participate in planning their care
  2. Create a safe environment for your parent
  3. Provide quality of life- this will be different for each person.
  4. Talk about the old times. Reminiscing can be very satisfying to both your parent and you.
  5. Do not make promises you cannot keep
  6. Make sure that their end of life desires are fulfilled
  7. Do not forget that your parent is an adult - not a child
  8. Provide ways for your parent to remain as safely independent as possible

Planning and sensitivity becomes even more important with age. And it is even more important to address the personal as well as the factual elements of the situation. If I can be of assistance in "transforming your potentially stressful circumstances into readily manageable solutions", please, let's talk. Call me.

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