How many times have you heard it? I’m referring to the endless chatter about parent/child role reversals as the parent ages. As a past leader, in the world of everything senior living, including independent, assisted and memory care administration, leadership coaching, and technology sales within the industry you can probably imagine I’ve heard this and been part of these conversations. Honestly, it didn’t even bother me until I was away from the industry and had some time to decompress and really think about the issues that seemed repetitive. Depression, grief, guilt, resentment…families were falling apart due to the stress. We have all heard that you should base a business around a problem that needs to be fixed and that serves people. Soooo… I went about brainstorming my new place in the world as a coach to help the senior community in a new way. I settled on the ONE thing that disturbed me most while I was working as an executive director for several senior living companies. What stood out most is that seniors and their families generally would land in my office without a single idea of what to do or how to move forward. Generally, it was too late some sort of tragedy had already occurred so it was all out defense and emergency mode of decision making. This broke my heart time and time again and many times led families straight to the turmoil of coming undone. Tragedies will always be hard but it is so much easier for your children when they know what is important to you.
The beauty is that it got me thinking how do I help seniors help themselves as they approach this season of their lives? How do I help them not be that person sitting with a senior living professional feeling abandoned by their family and friends? How do I help them be empowered to orchestrate the final season of their lives with grace and dignity? How can I coach them through having tough conversations with not only themselves but also their families? Because you see without a plan when an emergency does occur the roles will definitely be reversed. However, with a clearly communicated and crafted plan of the desires of the seniors heart to their family and loved ones…I’m convinced that these transitions are easier and the correct roles will be maintained. Child to remain child and parent to remain parent.
Are you ready to face the tough conversations with yourself and your family and loved ones?
Uncommunicated Expectations can NEVER be met,