Last year after celebrating my moms birthday, my siblings and I started discussing who'll be in charge of care for our mom as she gets older. Being the eldest and current primary contact person, the responsibility ended up remaining with me. Which mean I need to talk with my mom about her plans for long term care. That is a nerve racking thought.
It's scary in part because it's a sensitive subject to bring up. But it's an important conversation we need to have. Did you know that
"The United States is undergoing a profound demographic change – every day, over 10,000 Americans turn 65, so that during the next forty years, the U.S. population over 65 will double, and the population over 85 will triple."
Adult children with parents in this age range need to figure out how to start this conversation. To learn how we can do this, I attended the New York City kick off event for Genworth's "Let's Talk" Tour.
At the event Rob Lowe, Actor and Genworth's spokesperson, was there to help raise awareness about the tour and encourage people to start talking about long term care.
“I’m excited to help kick-off Genworth’s #LetsTalk Tour, an initiative to help families start the conversation around long term care planning,” says Lowe. “The timing couldn’t be more perfect, as long term care is the most overlooked health and retirement security issue facing Americans today. As a father of two, I know there’s a definite need to have these sometimes awkward family conversations and more importantly, having them now versus later.”
And helping families prepare is the aim of the "Let's Talk" Tour. After the event in New York, the tour will visit other cities to meet directly with families. Since many family conversations are accompanied by coffee, the centerpiece of Genworth’s #LetsTalk event will be a three story tall mug, covered with facts and figures about health and long term care.
During the event I visited the mug to learn more about these facts including
One survey showed that a full 75 percent of seniors said they’re comfortable talking about aging, but less than 20 percent of their children had actually engaged in a dialogue with them.
Many parents and their adult children both say they’re ready to talk more about health issues. Even so, 43 percent are waiting for the other side to bring it up first. Long term care is a conversation waiting to happen. Somebody just needs to start it. That’s exactly what Genworth aims to do with the “Let’s Talk” campaign.
To get people ready to talk, the tour will includes these fun activities:
- Visitors will be welcome from 9 am to 7 pm. They can participate in an interactive quiz about the most surprising facts shown on the outside of the mug, and will be asked who? where? how questions: who they should talk with about long term care, where the talk might take place, and how they anticipate the talk will take shape.
- Visitors can then go inside the mug, where they will have their photo taken with a giant mug with a message addressed to the person they named when answering the “who” question. For example, “Mom, Let’s Talk!” The photo will be emailed to them, so they can share it with friends and family, and then printed on-site with a conversation checklist on the back.
- Everyone who participates will receive a complimentary cup of coffee and mug. Throughout the day, prizes will be distributed.
The Genworth #LetsTalk Tour is visiting five cities across the United States – New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Dallas – in addition to engaging people via social media.
If the tour visits your area make sure to visit and learn how you can tell you your aging loved love, "Lets Talk". I'll be telling my mom this soon!