Helping your aging loved one can be very difficult in many different ways. Many people end up with financial pressures, time pressures and family pressures in dealing with close family members. Part of family pressure can be helping your parents as they age, and in particular, trying to help make sure they get the right care in the right setting.
As they age, many of our elderly want to stay home and never go to a nursing home. With this, the elder may have had a bad experience with their own family member receiving bad care or even dying in a long-term care facility. Some families, due to cultural pressures, also try to keep their loved ones at home as long as possible. Some even promise that they will never put their loved one in a long-term care facility. While this is a nice promise to make, we do not recommend making this promise to your family. A great story of how making this promise can go wrong is written in his article from the New York Times.
Why should you not promise to place your loved one in a long-term care facility?
Because it may be that the best place to receive long-term care is in the nursing home or assisted living facility. Some reasons are as follows:
- Mom/dad may be too medically frail to receive care at home, no matter if 24/7 caregivers are present.
- Socialization may be much better in long-term care - many elder like having relationships with people their own age and life experiences, so moving to a group setting can be a wonderful change of pace.
- Stress on the family can be entirely too much - most elders do not want to be a burden on their family, so promissing to keep mom/dad at home may put too much stress on the next generation.
- Alzheimer's/dementia, especially, can be a terrible thing when trying to keep a loved one at home. Modern dementia care facilities, such as Arden Courts Memory Care, have specially designed units that allows the elder to wonder and stretch their legs. We have had clients literally lock their mom/dad in their rooms to keep them inside the house!
- Privacy issues - many elders would not want their children to take care of their personal issues (toileting, showering, etc.), so allowing professional caregivers to do this would be much preferrable for all parties.
- Letting someone else take care of your loved one allows you to be a family again and not just the caregiver.
- Some elders want to provide an inheritance to their children and are afraid that going into long-term care will make their assets disappear. With a good elder law attorney, most assets can be protected with the right planning, even within the five year lookback period!
If you are dealing with your aging loved one, you may want to hire a life care planning attorney to assist you with your decision making, legal issues and asset protection. Our job is to not just protect our client's assets but to make sure they get the right care in the right place and the family has the right support in a very difficult time.