Tips for success when your kids are on your health care team

Be upfront about your needs, and set your own ground rules.

Published: October, 2018

Image: © SelectStock/Getty Images

Allowing your kids to be involved in your health care can have many benefits. The arrangement provides advocates who can help you follow your treatment plan, talk to your doctors, and maybe even make appointments and take you to them. As an added bonus, you get to spend more time with your adult children.

But the arrangement isn't always easy. "There's a tendency for roles to reverse. The child becomes the parent. The parent may not be comfortable with that. Or the parent doesn't want to burden the child, and lets health issues go until they're too far gone," says Dr. Suzanne Salamon, associate chief of gerontology at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Consider the following tips to navigate the relationship.

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