Any Charges Reported on this blog are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty, through the courts.

February 23, 2012

Adult Children Make Decision for Parents

A recent story out of the Northeast has again highlighted issues than can be caused by adult children attempting to make decisions and taking action to assist their aging parents.  In this case, the son, who himself is in his late seventies, served eviction papers on his mother – unfortunately and coincidentally on her 98th birthday.
He says that he is concerned about the squalor in which his mom is living, and hopes to get her to either move in with him or into a retirement facility where she can have daily contact and regular meals with others.  Mom says that she and her late husband put everything they had into that house and he told her before his passing to never let it go.  Now, newspapers and internet pundits across the nation are debating whether the son is a concerned, caring child or a scumbag.
Following a major stroke suffered by my mother, her cardiologist told her that her driving days were over and instructed me to take her car keys.  Mother never forgave me.  Those keys represented her freedom and independence.  Her doctor forced me to make a decision to protect her safety and that of others on the road with her.
One person may perceive a decision as elder abuse while another may be sincerely trying to protect a loved one.
Frequently decisions such as these create harsh conflicts between siblings.  While most are truly concerned about doing what is best for their parents, brothers and sisters frequently disagree as to what constitutes “best”.
“Mother needs to sell her house and move into a retirement home where she can get help when she needs it and have her meals prepared for her.”
“Absolutely not!  She will be more comfortable in her own home, and if you would just stop by and help her more often, that could happen.”
One study conducted by a family mediation association shows that approximately 40% of adult children who are providing care for their aging parents experience serious conflict with one or more of their siblings, usually related to a perception that one of the others is not doing enough to help.  The children assisting their parents understandably often feel taken advantage of by their other siblings who seem content to let them do the heavy lifting while doing little or nothing themselves.  Resentments fester, particularly when it comes time to divide an estate.  A caregiver’s extended personal sacrifices are frequently overlooked by other siblings when it comes time to settle a deceased parent’s affairs.
Of course there are some children who are anxious for their parents to transition into other living situations so that they can personally gain access or control of parental assets to better their own lives.  A friend has shared horror stories about her sisters running roughshod over their Alzheimer’s affected mother, stealing household items and family heirlooms while draining their mother’s remaining financial assets even before she’s gone.  The estrangement their actions have caused will likely never heal for the sisters.
Financial abuse is most often committed by family members and caregivers.  It is the leading type of elder abuse and is usually invisible to the outside world.

SOURCE:     Elder Authority


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