As adult children it can be difficult to realize that out parents are aging. Watching our parents experience the physical and mental deterioration that accompanies that aging process can be particularly hard. If you find yourself in watching your parents age you likely want to help; however, you do not want to seem as though you are interfering or trying to take away your parents’ independence. To help you navigate this tricky time, a Londonderry elder law attorney at DeBruyckere Law Offices offers the following tips for adult children with aging parents.
- Expect denial. Your aging parents may not be ready to face the fact that they are aging. Denial is common among the aging. Gently remind your parents that now is the time to accomplish things that are important to them.
- Choose your words carefully. Some people prefer to confront the end-of-life head one and have no problem discussing; however, others are frightened and no ready for the end of their life. If you must discuss the topic, try using a term other than “death.”
- Be aware of potential memory loss. Even if your parents never develop Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, the natural aging process causes problems with memory. Keep that in mind.
- Money is a likely concern. Your parents may seem financially secure; however, they are probably worried about money. Most people entering their retirement years are concerned about money because their earning ability is dramatically diminished, and the future is full of unknown variables.
- Don’t wait for them to ask for help. Your parents are likely proud people who have managed to get through life without much help up to this point. The idea of asking for help, especially from their own children, probably doesn’t sit well with them. Find ways to offer that help that allows them to keep their dignity and independence when possible.
- Help them with technology. Today, technology is everywhere; however, it can be very intimidating for older people. It can also be a tool used by predators and scammers. Give your parents some basic tech tools to use and explain internet security to them.
- Understand the long-term care hurdles they may face. When your parents enter their retirement years, they will each already stand a 50 percent chance of eventually needing long-term care (LTC). Educate yourself about the cost of that care, options for paying for LTC (such as by qualifying for Medicaid), and what facilities in the area have a good reputation.
- Learn how to spot elder abuse. A parent may not speak up if he/she is the victim of elder abuse. Experts estimate that as many as 14 instances of elder abuse go unreported for every one that is reported. Talk to your parents about elder abuse to try and prevent them from becoming a victim.
- Have patience with your parents. Keep in mind that your parents probably needed a considerable amount of patients to handle you when you were growing up so extend that same patience back to them as they age.
Contact a Londonderry Elder Law Attorney
If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact the Londonderry elder law attorneys at DeBruyckere Law Offices by calling our New Hampshire office at (603) 894-4141 or our Massachusetts office (978) 969-0331 to learn more or visit our website at http://dadlawoffices.com .
Because their income is likely reduced, your parents may qualify for assistance from programs such as SNAP (Food Stamps) and Medicaid. They may also be eligible for additional help from programs such as the Veterans Aid & Attendance if one of them served in the military.
Yes, and the earlier, the better. Because of the Medicaid look-back rule it is always best to have Medicaid planning in place long before one of them needs long-term care.
Elder abuse can be a crime, but it can also be the basis for a civil lawsuit. Consult with an experienced elder law attorney immediately if you suspect abuse.