Resources for families and aging parents

The drama of aging parents is filled with scenarios and events that can undo our best efforts to keep everything together. One of the most unsettling of these challenges is trying to manage and direct their personal, financial, legal, and health insurance affairs.  In this jungle of overwhelming confusion regarding bills, statements and other documents, things are easily overlooked, misplaced, or simply forgotten.  And there is so much emotional energy wrapped around these various tasks.  It can be exhausting, both physcially and emotionally for the adult child trying to go this journey alone.

In my continued quest to provide solutions for families who can’t see the forest for the trees, I came upon an excellent article in the Elder Law Attorney Newsletter.  The article, Elder Law Attorneys and Daily Money Managers: A Unique Relationship to Help Seniors in the 21st Century, can give professionals and families options to address these many challenges so a community of concerned individuals are brought together.  Reprinted with permission from:  Elder Law Attorney, Winter 2011, Vol. 21, No. 1, published by the New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, NY 12207.

One thought on “Resources for families and aging parents

  1. I watched my dad take care of his aunt–he veiitsd her every day, unfailingly. She wasn’t the easiest person to deal with but I never heard Dad complain. Not once. My siblings and I complained plenty though, when we had to stop at her house so Dad could check on her. Now, I realize what a fabulous example Dad set for us and I hope I can do as well for my children. (Anon 11:25, I thought of you while I typed this. Your daughter may not grow up with all the activities her friends have, but she has something better–your example of how to be a good person.)After Mom went to a nursing home, she got very confused and stopped answering her phone. Either she couldn’t reach it or she didn’t recognize the ringing phone as hers. I live in another city and I couldn’t believe how painful it was to be unable to chat with Mom anymore. I could go visit her, sure, but there was no more picking up the phone for a quick chat. In the last month or so, she has begun answering her phone and she sounds like herself. I feel blessed every time I get to talk to her.My sister takes care of her, visiting every day, doing her laundry, handling her finances. My brothers stop by–one frequently, one semi-regularly, and one infrequently. A friend tried to explain why the one brother doesn’t visit very often: “It’s probably hard for him to see his Mom when she’s not really herself anymore.” Hmmmm…. and it’s a piece of cake for the rest of us? And what about Mom? I can’t imagine it is very easy for her to be the way she is.My husband is an only child. Watching him deal with his mother makes me glad we have two children and sorry we didn’t start early enough to have more. I’m glad my children will have someone to share the burden with. Chances are, I’ll be a burden for them at some point.People who work in nursing homes deserve a special place in heaven. People who hate working in nursing homes–but work there anyway–makes it a painful existence for the residents.

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