As we at Glisson-LeBlanc Insurance continue to serve our wonderful clients in Sarasota and Bradenton, we continually hear stories from many who are facing difficult decisions and choices with aging family members and relatives.
“Dad is forgetting to take his medicine”, or “mom fell and broke her hip last year and just can't get around anymore.” The stories are all different and unique, but they all have a similar theme…..
1. that the aging individual doesn't feel they are having any real (serious)problems, and
2. that they refuse to even CONSIDER leaving their home and entering a facility where they could get better care.
We are having our own little situation with mother's parents right now. They are in their upper 80's, living in their own little home outside of Detroit. Both have health conditions and are showing signs of lost mental acuities, as well as certain bodily functions. It's a nerve wracking situation, what with meds that need to be taken, steep staircases, shopping, bathing, etc. But, of course, they refuse to even consider moving to an assisted living facility….don't even want to start that discussion. So, what's the “solution?” Well, the children take turns living with them for a day or two, making sure they receive the care they need to survive “on their own.”. It's hard on the children, definitely not how they pictured they'd be living their lives. But “you do what you have to do.”
The point of this story is, most people don't want to burden their own children with providing any of their personal care, but many times that's exactly what happens. The children, (usually just one), has to put their life on hold while they care for the aging parent, or parents. In many cases it causes major disruption in the child's own family, sometimes leading to divorce and/or a whole host of other personal or financial problems. In our case, we have finally gotten agreement from mom's parents to let a professional care giver come in and help look after them, so that is a HUGE relief for all the children.
The time to discuss this and to start planning is BEFORE a health crisis occurs. The conversation can be difficult, and sometimes awkward, but is always beneficial. At least you will get a better idea of what you are in for down the road SHOULD something occur. You might also find that they have been considering long term care insurance, or an assisted living facility already….they just needed a little prodding. (And that's where WE come in)