Every week we talk with several families who are worried about the challenges of aging and call us for help. Recently, a family was concerned about mom’s declining memory and dementia.
Mom is mostly unaware of her inability to handle things on her own and really wants to keep control of her keys and the checkbook. She has handled these things for years and is not about to give them up.
Dad is worried about Mom. He’s concerned she’ll wander off or drive somewhere and get lost. He’s increasingly uncomfortable leaving her home alone, worried she’ll try to use the stove and not remember to turn it off. At the same time, he feels terribly guilty when he thinks about taking away the car keys. He feels really stuck and unsure of what to do.
The daughter lives only five minutes away. She is worried sick about her parents, and the situation is adding a lot of stress to her life. She knows her mom is unsafe, so she does all she can to help, but she has a family of her own and works full time. Because her dad is stuck and doesn’t know what to do to keep her mom safe, she is feeling immense pressure to be the parent of her own parents. This is a really uncomfortable spot for her.
The son lives really far away. (Let’s say Florida.) He tries to come home every year, but it’s been almost 18 months since he’s been back. He thinks his sister is trying to be too controlling and take over everything. He knows his mom and dad have slipped some, but they seem fine when he calls them every few weeks.
So, here we are. We’ve got issues of:
- feelings of guilt,
- changing family dynamics,
- and sibling friction
all mixed up together in a big, stressful situation.
How can we bring this family together to make the right decisions?
This situation is hard. But this situation is a common one.
To maneuver more easily through these types of life changes, families need help with legal, financial, and care decisions. This is what we do every day.
Are you facing a situation with an aging loved one where you could use some guidance from someone who has walked through these issues before? Or do you know someone who is struggling with a similar situation and doesn’t know what to do?
We encourage you to call our office for immediate help. Our Elder Care Advisors will be happy to speak with you at 217-726-9200.