How to Have the Hardest Conversation of Your Life

Expert Reveals How to Discuss Eldercare With Mom and Dad Before They Need It

BEND, OR--(Marketwire - January 20, 2011) -  Ali Davidson has a reality check that's about as difficult to read as it is to talk about.

"If you're an adult, and your parents are still alive and in decent health, it's likely that you'll have to take charge of their care at some point before they pass away," said Davidson, a life coach and former owner of a home care agency who has authored the book "It's Between You and Me" ( "Invariably, most adult children do what they can to avoid the conversation with their parents about how they will handle that moment when it is apparent they are no longer able to care for themselves. Yes, it seems like it can be awkward and embarrassing, but it's also necessary if you intend to lovingly and intelligently care for them as they get older."

Caregiving is a reality for many adult children today. More than 50 years ago, caregiving was not as necessary, as the average life expectancy was barely over age 62. Today, the prevailing state of medical technology and care has advanced that life expectancy to 78, meaning that the likelihood of needing extra care in those later years is far more likely than 20 years ago.

Davidson's message to children is simple -- it is far better to power through the initial awkwardness of that conversation in order to achieve a greater peace of mind, both for them and their parents.

"Despite our denial, tomorrow always comes," she added. "But what your tomorrow will look like will depend on how ready you are to embrace it. Caring for elderly parents can be very difficult for the adult child, especially when a crisis is what typically creates the need for a conversation about senior care. My hope is that people will begin to think preventively when it comes to anticipating that need, and creating a manageable plan to account for that moment."

About Ali Davidson

As a former owner of an in-home care agency, Ali Davidson worked with seniors and their families for 9 years. During that time she helped them negotiate the aging process with dignity and compassion. She developed training programs for her employees that ensured quality care for her clients and a better understanding of the needs of seniors.

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Russ Handler