4 Tough Questions to Ask Aging Parents

As our parents get older, it’s imperative we understand their end-of-life wishes. This involves some hard questions — and that’s okay. Just be sure to ask them in the right way.

“Don’t expect them to just go along with what you are asking,” says Liz Birch, founder of Des Plaines-based Home Care Angels. “If you come from a place of compassion and love, it will make these difficult questions easier to ask and easier to answer.”

  1. Where would you prefer to live if you could no longer stay in your home? Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of a senior living community; perhaps they want to live with family. 
  2. What level of care would you want if you became seriously ill?  With an advance directive, your parents can outline their wishes for life-sustaining treatment and appoint an agent to make medical decisions for them if needed.

  3. Who would you like to take care of your finances if you couldn’t?  Your loved ones should designate someone to hold durable power of attorney for property to handle their financial affairs if they’re unable to. 

  4. What are your funeral wishes? If your parents have specific preferences, they’ll feel relieved those desires will be honored.