Our crisis came in the form of an unexpected phone call one night. Dad had fallen, struck his head and was in critical condition.
It shouldn't have been a surprise. My brothers and I has been aware of his progressing dementia for more than a year. We knew that his two-story home was too much to handle, yet we never spoke to him about it.
We did not know what he wanted us to do.
It's a conversation we all dread. Still, it's important to help our parents maintain a sense of control at a time in life where control is slowly slipping away.
Parents sometimes become more combative as they fight to hang on to whatever control they have left. But we can help by shifting from a child-parent relationship to more of a partnership.
Sit them down for a talk. Let them know there are ways they can spend more time on travel , leisure activities and visiting the grandchildren by letting go of the upkeep and expenses that comes with home ownership. This may open them up to considering a Great Transition to fewer burdens and more possibilities.
Take small steps as you guide them to make their own decisions. Do not wait for a crisis. Have these conversations now. Focus on their needs, not yours. Our parents deserve to be part of the plan.