Conversation Starters

“Let’s talk’’ are the two most important words you can say to an aging loved one.

Starting a conversation about potential long term care needs and the issues of aging isn’t always easy. But honest conversations now are essential to making sure you and the people you love can live life on your own terms. Being open today about what matters most means you can plan for the future you want.

4 out of 5 people feel more positive after having a conversation about future long term care needs

How to Talk to Your Spouse

From the moment you said “I do,” you made countless decisions together about your home, your family, and your careers. As you age, no decision is more important for every couple than deciding how and where you want to age, particularly if you need long term care. The sooner you start talking about it today, the more confidently you can plan for tomorrow.


How to Talk to Your Parents

When you were younger, your parents probably had “the talk” with you about adolescence and adulthood. It’s time for you to return the favor and have a talk with them about aging. It can be a tough conversation to start. But with 70% of people over 65 needing long term care services at some point 2, it’s important to start now so your whole family is clear on how and where your parents want to live out their later years.


What to Talk About

Lifestyle: What does daily life look like now? What does your loved one expect it to look like in the future?

Legal: Is there a will/living will, durable power of attorney, or health care power of attorney in place? Are those documents up to date and accessible?

Finances: How are bills currently being paid? Is there income that can be redirected for care if need be?

Medical Care: Are health histories and contact information for all current medical providers available and up to date?

Care Options: How and where would your loved one prefer to receive care? Do they have a care provider selected and how will it be paid for?


  • Talk in person
  • Have a sense of humor
  • Listen. Really listen
  • Go with the flow
  • Allow plenty of time


  • Overwhelm with statistics and forms
  • Make plans and decisions ahead of time
  • Talk when tensions are running high
  • Fall into old patterns
  • Forget you are all adults now
  • Force choices and decisions immediately
  • Generational Planning Study, Genworth Research, Final Report 2018, page 26
  • 2019 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (, 06/04/2019
206401A2B 06/04/19