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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

RST: Necessary Conversations with aging parents

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Sep 27, 2013 3:21 PM

What to look for on Radio Smart Talk, Monday, September 30, 2013:

Necessary conversations.jpg

Too many families wait or never have discussions involving their aging parents about their wishes or the plans that should be made as they get older.

That's according to Gerald and Marlene Kaufman, the authors of the book Necessary Conversations.

The Kaufmans appear on Monday's Radio Smart Talk to address an issue almost every family faces.  How they handle it is a different matter.

The book says families should address these questions:

     1. Where should they live as they become less able to care for a property? 

     2. How will they manage their finances so that they are as prepared as possible to meet their needs as they age? Are they ready to invite one or more of their children to become their partners   in  making financial decisions? 

     3. Are they ready to invite one or more of their children to become their partners in making their medical decisions? 

     4. How can parents and children work together in determining when it's no longer safe or wise for the parents to drive? 

     5. What end-of-life decisions should parents be prepared to make? What is the best way to have those discussions?


Authors Gerald & Marlene Kaufman

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  • Roger & Mary Kay img 2013-09-30 08:51

    I read a quote from Johann Lavater from the 1700's: Never say that you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.
    I think that people have not changed so much in 250 years. Thank you for this important conversation about necessary conversations.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-09-30 08:56

    Sue emails:

    One of the greatest gifts my parents gave me was their example of proactive aging. Their preparation for, and acceptance of, life changes and decisions were topics of everyday conversations between my parents and all of their children. Retirement, downsizing, moving to a retirement home, wills, giving up driving, record-keeping, health problems, Alzheimer's, moving to assisted living, nursing care, burial, one parent passing away before the other - these things were all approached and discussed as just part of life - almost all of them long before they happened. The gift: I am 60, a widow, and childless, but I am not afraid of aging. I know what to expect. I have a road map to help me through the hurdles of life. Long after they have passed away, their example and choices advise me. I cannot thank my parents enough for the peace and confidence they have given me as I approach the next quarter century of my life.