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Written By: Paula Spencer Scott, Senior Editor at

Most people prefer to age in place in their own homes, studies show — but reality proves that’s not always possible. This clash often brings family members to an awkward juncture. They need to broach the possibility of alternative living arrangements with someone who may neither want them nor feel the need for them.

Then what? Experts in geriatrics and communication suggest that these guidelines for having “the talk” with an aging loved one who needs more help than can be provided at home:



Paula Spencer Scott is senior editor at, the leading online destination for caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones. Paula is a 2011 MetLife Foundation Journalists in Aging fellow and writes extensively about health and caregiving. If your loved one is daunted by the thought of downsizing, see 20 Tips to Help You Get Rid of Junk.

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