Princeton Senior Resource Center - the go to place for seniors

« June 2018 »
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Click on Month for full Calendar view
Newsletter Download

Director's Message

Have You Had the Talk Yet? March 2008

One of our local papers recently published an article urging adult children to raise their concerns with their aging parents. Several readers took umbrage at the implication in the article that by the age of 70, parents were no longer competent to manage their own affairs. I am sure many of you would also challenge this assumption!

At the same time, this connects with the issue I planned to address this month: how do we have family conversations about aging issues? I want to be expansive here and include not only parent-adult child conversations, but sibling conversations, and even extended family. I think that one of the best ways to maintain being in charge of your life throughout your lifespan is to make plans and let your family know what your wishes are. I also assert that this conversation can be initiated by either generation. And just like “the talk” you were supposed to have when they were teens, this is a talk that should go on many times over the years, because your plans and wishes may change as your needs and circumstances evolve. The topics should include preferences for residence and care, designating powers of attorney for health and financial issues, advance directives, wills and estate plans, where you keep important records, funeral and burial plans, and a HIPPA release for medical records.
These are not easy conversations in most families. No one wants to lose loved ones. We live in a culture that denies aging or treats it like a taboo. Parent-child roles are powerful and enduring. Many families live at a distance so family gatherings only occur on major holidays, and no one wants to raise the “serious issues” on happy occasions, or it’s already stressful, or too short a visit, or the kids are in the room, or it’s raining… Sometimes it is the parents who are uncomfortable, sometimes the children, sometimes only one person in the family who keeps changing the subject. But by avoiding the discussions, we can miss important opportunities to share and listen and honor each other. Many people are able to maintain independence throughout their lives, but if the day comes when you can not make safe and appropriate decisions for yourself, wouldn’t it be better to have a plan in place that everyone understands and supports?
I recently met with an adult child who told me that her brother was the legal power of attorney, but he didn’t know he had been designated and didn’t want to do it, and now her father was not competent to change it. Another bemoaned the conflict among her siblings over their parent’s care plan. In another situation, we are seeking a family member who will make decisions where there are no children. The examples of what can happen when you put off these conversations are endless.
Here are some suggestions that may help on this journey:
·          Don’t wait for a crisis. Start now!
·          Don’t leave out key players.
·          Find a neutral starting point such as a news item or article to ask how your family feels about an issue.
·          Use another person’s experience to talk about how you would want things to be similar or different.
·          Set aside time for a family meeting and let everyone know ahead of time so they can feel prepared.
·          Prepare your own thoughts in advance. Bring along information that can help you describe the choices you have made.
·          If you are the adult child, list specific examples that illustrate your concerns.
·          Be open to other ideas or perspectives that you might not have considered. Listen to what everyone feels, thinks and needs.
·          Anticipate concerns and be ready to address them.
·          Ask for help from a professional such as one of PSRC’s social workers or a geriatric care manager who are trained in conducting family meetings.
Don’t give up. You may get resistance or it may feel uncomfortable but keep going!
Susan W. Hoskins, LCSW
Executive Director

Previous Messages

October 2017: HomeFriends Celebrates 30 Years!

September 2017: Annual Report

July/August 2017: Preferred Caregivers: Daughters

June 2017: Cues & Clues

May 2017: Recharging

April 2017: GrandPals Celebrate 20 Years!

March 2017: Multi-generational Households

February 2017: No One Ages Well Alone

January 2017: Help at Home

December 2016: Gratitude

November 2016: Family Caregiving

October 2016: Annual Report

September 2016: Corporate Healthcare

July/ August 2016: Strategic Planning

June 2016: Is Your Home Age- Friendly?

May 2016 Part 2 : We Need Your Help

May 2016 Part 1: Going Solo

April 2016: Volunteering

March 2016: Partners In Caring

February 2016: PSRC's Strategic Plan

January 2016: Hope

December 2015: Gratitude

November 2015: Helicopter Children

October 2015: Is Princeton An Age Friendly Community?

September 2015: Annual Report

July & August 2015: Family and Community

June 2015: A Gift that Keeps Giving

May 2015: Is 60 the New 40

April 2015: Spring

March 2015: On Being Mortal

February 2015: Mentoring

January 2015: Winter Blues

December 2014 - Leaving A Legacy

October 2014 An Age Friendly Future

September 2014 Annual Report

July - August 2014

June 2014 - Romance After 50

May 2014 - Your Virtual Estate

April 2014 - Memory and Forgetting

March 2014 - Aging in Community

Observational Stay

February 2014 - Family Caregiving

January 2014: Attitudes about Aging

December 2013 - Giving

November 2013 - Healthcare Marketplace

October 2013 - Annual Report 2013

September 2013 - Total Brain Health® Fair

July - August 2013 My cat, My Father and Me

June 2013 - Age Friendly Communities

May 2013 - Navigating a Changing HealthCare Landscape

April 2013 - Becoming Visible

March 2013 - Navigating Life’s Transitions

February 2013 - Partners in Caring Princeton

January 2013 - Men as Caregivers

December 2012 - The Safety Net

November 2012 - Going Solo

October 2012 - Documenting Your History

September 2012 - A Journey of Transformation

July - August 2012 - Gratitude & Moving

June 2012 - Diversity

May 2012- Aging in America


March 2012 - Patient-centered Care

February 2012 - Can you Spare an Hour?

January 2012 - Challenges & Opportunities

December - Are you Prepared for Emergencies?

November - We need YOU!

October - Chocolate for Memory

September- Looking Back and Looking Forward

July - August 2011; Ageism

June 2011 - Accessibility

May 2011 - Paper retention

Knit Wits, April 2011

Lessons and Legacies, March 2011

Independent Living February 2011

Home Safety January 2011

Witness to my Life December 2010

Elections, benefits and open enrollment November 2010

Retire in 3D!

Strategic Planning September 2010

Am I Old? July 2010

Memory Clutter June 2010

Aging In America May 2010

Volunteering April 2010

Spirituality March 2010

Estate Planning February 2010

Encore Careers January 2010

Hiring Home Care December 2009

Annual Giving by Sharon Naeole November 2009

Flu Pandemic 2009 October 2009

Healthy Memory, Healthy Mind September 2009

A Personal Perspective on Caregiving July/August 2009


Wei Ji: Crisis, Danger and Opportunity April 2009

Write your own obituary March 2009

Hobbies February 2009

Hope and Vision in Challenging Times
January 2009

Medicare Changes 2008: Take A Look! December 2008

Scams, Frauds and Rip-offs November 2008

Engaged Retirement: Beyond Financial Planning October 2008

September 2008 Caregiver Dilemmas

Finding Rhythm and Purpose July/August 2008

Spring Cleaning II June 2008

V + OA = ER (Volunteering + Older Americans=Engaged Retirement)May 2008

Spring Cleaning April 2008

Have You Had the Talk Yet? March 2008

Get Moving with FitRhythms™! February 2008

My Condolences January 2008

Advocacy December 2007

What Are Social Services? November 2007

Sensitive Topics October 2007

Plan for the Future September 2007

The Up-side of Aging Summer 2007

Volunteering June 2007

Strategic Plan May 2007

National Conference on Aging: Let's ReThink Aging April 2007

Brain Health March 2007

Resiliency February 2007

Transportation January 2007

Season of Giving December 2006

Medicare Part D November 2006

April Hill McElroy October 2006

Civic Engagement September 2006

Change June 2006

White House Conference on Aging May 2006

Hearing Loss April 2006

GrandPals March 2006

Lets Talk February 2006

Eldertopia January 2006

Hoarding December 2005

Annual Report: November 2005

Are You Prepared? October 2005

Planning Ahead October 2005

Watch Your Language September 2005

Medicare Part D Summer 2005

Sue Tillett June 2005

The End of the Journey May 2005

Clutter March 2005

New Dietary Guidelines February 2005

Transitions January 2005

Funding December 2004

Caregiving November 2004

Civic Engagement with GrandPals October 2004

A New Look September 2004

Safe Driving Summer 2004

Food Safety June 2004

Communication June 2004

The Challenge of Giving Care May 2004

Seniors On The Move April 2004

Depression March 2004

McGreevey February 2004

Medications January 2004

Random Acts of Kindness December 2003

Civic Engagement November 2003

Reverse Mortgages Oct 2003

Emergency Preparedness, Jan 2003

© Princeton Senior Resource Center
45 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ 08540
Suzanne Patterson Building 609-924-7108
Spruce Circle 609-252-2362
Suzanne Patterson Building 9AM-5:00PM
Spruce Circle 10:00AM-4:00PM,
Every Weekday Unless Otherwise Noted