Aging Parents: So Many Familiar Scenarios
Adult children faced with making life-changing decisions on behalf of their aging parents have a difficult responsibility under the best of circumstances. Parents may not be able to or willing to recognize the need to make a change. Siblings can be in stark disagreement—some may even be estranged. Mediation as a decision making process can be a beneficial tool to help families find viable options in difficult situations concerning an aging parent.
Where to live.
When it becomes clear that parents are no longer able to live on their own without a support system, decisions must be made to define the next chapter: moving in with a family member or on to an assisted living facility.
An Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
When one parent is the primary caregiver for another dealing with the debilitating symptoms of Alzheimer’s, there comes a time when decisions must be made. Should the parent with Alzheimer’s be moved to a memory care facility or should help be brought into the home? When one spouse moves out, where does the other go?
When one sibling, for whatever reason, becomes the 24-7 contact for the everyday problems which are bound to occur, resentment and burn out are natural consequences. This creates conflict between siblings that requires resolution.
When a parent is clearly in need of assistance but refuses help, an advocate is needed. This is a difficult situation which is compounded when children and parents live a good distance apart.
Unable to monitor health care decisions and/or money.
When a parent is unable to clearly navigate the responsibilities of daily life, who will be accountable for making critical medical, financial, and legal decisions?