BOSTON (CBS) – Mother’s Day is next Sunday. A day we celebrate our mothers.

May is also national Older Americans Month, designated to celebrate and appreciate older adults and their contributions to our communities. Anyone over 65 is considered an older American by our government.

Seniors want to live active lives but there is a huge difference between a 65 and 85-year-old. So if your mom is 65, she does not consider herself old. If she is 75, she is probably slowing down, and if she is 85, she might consider herself old.

Individuals over 85 are the largest growing demographic in the United States. So if you have parents who are elderly they will probably need your help at some time.

So that said how about spending some time this week with your mom helping her get her financial stuff in order. This would make a great mother’s day gift. Moms are notorious for not wanting you to buy them something. They would prefer your spending some time with them. So here’s your opportunity.

Do not think about starting this process on Mother’s day with everyone around. You want a quiet one-on-one conversation. At best you and your siblings and mom. Start a dialogue about getting older, about what she thinks, and what she may need from her kids.  Then proceed to the tough stuff:

Ask open-ended questions so she will talk about how she feels. I have put together some common concerns.

  • Outliving her money; that is if she has money
  • Estate Planning does she have a will, a power of attorney & health care proxy
  • Health issues, meds she is taking
  • Living alone; does she want to move; closer to you, a sibling, assisted living
  • Driving; this is such a big issue
  • Taking care of herself
  • Nursing home care (this usually gets an immediate and loud response!)

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