It used to be that having the “tough talk” with your aging parents meant trying to get them to open up about their finances and plans for their future, including their desires about what they want us to do when they die. But, a new survey, “The Tough Talk: Aging Parents and Substance Abuse,” commissioned by WellCare Health Plans, Inc., opens up a whole new area to explore with those older relatives, including, for some of us, with our spouses.
More than half of those surveyed – all of whom were adults with living parents/in-laws, as well as with at least one child aged 13 or older – reported that they are more concerned about prescription drug abuse with their aging parents than with their children. Yet almost two-thirds feel less able to help their parents than they are to help their kids. One of the reasons for this, which the survey also revealed, is that more than half don’t know what prescription drugs their parents take.
“Understandably, it may feel uncomfortable and invasive for adults to ask their aging parents what prescription drugs they’re taking, or how much alcohol they consume,” said Michael Polen, executive vice president, Medicare and operations at WellCare. “Despite this, however, it’s in the best interest of parents’ health to understand exactly what they are taking – and how often – to keep them safe and in good health.”