When we were born, our parents cared for us. Are we up to the task of taking care of our parents when they grow old? This is especially difficult when you don’t live near your parents.
Some people are lucky, in that a brother or sister lives near their parents. While the sibling becomes the primary caretaker, it is still important that you contribute to the taking care of elderly parents. You should contact the sibling that lives nearby and find out what you can do to help him or her. You may be able to deal with medical issues involving your parents’ principal medical providers. You also may be able to visit periodically and relieve your siblings.
Making Your Parents’ Home Safe
When you visit your parents, you should take a good look at their home. If your parents are unsteady on their feet or use a walker, you may want to go room by room and see what modifications to your parents’ home are necessary. For example, do the bathrooms have safety bars? Are there places in your parents’ home where they may slip and fall?
You should also look into the accessibility of various parts of your parents’ home. Are there problems with doors, cabinets or wall switches?
Are arrangements for Your Parents Acceptable?
Can your parents take care of themselves? Do they need help during the day? Do they need help with their bathroom and toilet needs? Do your parents need help going to the doctor‘s office? Think about these issues and if your parents need help. Devise a plan to deal with each of these problems.
Can Your Parents Take Care of Themselves?
Can your parents deal with their own medical needs? Are they taking the right medications? Do they need help filling their medication prescriptions? Can they read the right dosage necessary on their prescriptions? Is their home clean? Do they need cleaning help or a health care aid?
Are they paying their bills? You should check to see that their credit card, electric, oil, mortgage or other bills are paid. You don’t want to end up having your parents in a situation where they are sitting in the dark because they forgot to pay their electric bill.
Can your parents deal with their food needs? Can they go to the grocery store and shop for themselves? Can they still cook? If they cannot meet these needs, you should look into hiring someone to assist them with the purchase of groceries and the preparation of meals.
At what point and time should your parents stop driving? Is their eyesight adequate to see what’s happening on the road? Are their hands shaking to the point that they can’t handle the steering wheel? Are they a menace to themselves and other drivers on the road?
Your parents’ mental state is also important. Do they have friends? Do they have social interaction with their peers? Is there a support system where your parents live? Growing old in America is difficult. It is your duty as a child, niece, nephew or friend of a loved one to help them.
The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have been handling Elder Law matters for their clients for more than 45 years. The firm represents its clients with regard to issues involving nursing homes. We help clients do estate planning and Medicaid planning, so in the event they need to go into a nursing home, their home won’t be taken to pay the nursing home bill. We prepare special needs trusts for children and irrevocable trusts to protect homes. We draft wills and trusts for clients. In the event clients die, we help probate the wills and trusts. Feel free to call the Elder Care Attorneys at The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo for a consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.