Kid’s Law (Part 1)

Having written twice about “Dad’s Law” as it relates to my college-age daughter, I am now taking on a bit of a role reversal. As parents age, the process of starting to take over certain tasks and responsibilities for our parents can be one of the most distressing experiences of a lifetime. After a lifetime of looking to our parents for guidance, there comes a point when our parents begin to look to us for guidance.

For some elderly people, caring for their home has become more than they can handle financially or physically. Too much work needs to be done to maintain the home and keep it clean and livable, or the costs of repairs and maintenance may be too great. Others do not feel safe in their homes when they are alone, nor are they able to make quick decisions or movements. They may fear falling or other injuries occurring with no one nearby to help them. Still others find themselves unable to manage their finances.

Many of us promised in good faith, back when our parents were healthy, that we would never put them in a nursing home. That would be abandoning them, we thought, and pledged to care for them ourselves until they died. Admirable thinking. However, as years go by and care needs mount, we find ourselves faced with the fact that we simply cannot raise our children, work at our jobs and take care of our parents.

In all of these cases, as our roles in our parents’ lives grow, difficult decisions must be made either with or on behalf of our parents. As you prepare to take on this role, remember how important it is that parents have a will, a durable power of attorney and a health care proxy. With these documents, a family member or caregiver can handle a parent’s financial and legal affairs, and make health-related decisions should that parent become incapacitated. Without these documents, a family is limited in assisting an ailing parent.

1 comment

  1. avatar
    Susan Carigan says:

    Thank you for touching on such a prevalent issue in our society today! There needs to be more written about this topic.

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