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Talking to your aging parents about planning for the... inevitable

Whether it be nursing homes or death? My parents are fiercely independent but declining. Mom is 78 and still sprightly; dad is an "old 80"- he watches a lot of TV and naps. They have 4 houses. Three of them used to be rentals, but they haven't bothered with renting them in years. But they still need maintained: landscaping, utilities, taxes, etc. They do it all themselves, as my sister and I live hundreds of miles away. It's all like a house of cards; if one thing goes wrong (hospitalization, disability, etc.) everything will fall apart. Neither parent can make it solo- they're like two halves of one person (he can't cook, she can't drive; he can't hear, she has poor vision...). They say they have a will, but won't discuss any part of it. We don't even have keys to their house if something should go wrong. How do you tell someone they're not forty anymore, and need to downsize or something?

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