When it comes to caring for an aging loved one, having family members by your side can be a tremendous help – mentally, physically, and financially. However, there are also times when having to consider more than one opinion on an issue can cause battles among relatives.
Of course, there are instances when an aging parent’s health situation changes very unexpectedly, but in most cases, sibling clashes can be avoided with some advanced planning by the aging parents and their adult children.
Here are a few ways that seniors can help prevent disputes among their adult children about their long-term care needs:
Have an honest conversation before issues arise
Most people do not look forward to this conversation, but it’s important for seniors to discuss their wishes with their adult children. Whether you hope to remain in your own home or choose another option, it’s helpful for everyone to be on the same page. This conversation can set the stage for many of the decisions that need to be made in the future.
Create detailed documentation about your care
There are several legal documents that seniors should create to take the guesswork out of care requirements. In addition to a will, seniors should create a power of attorney document to designate an “agent” or person who will make decisions should you become mentally or physically incapacitated. Additionally, complete advance directives documents (living will) to make it easier for your adult children to ensure you receive the level of care you desire, especially related to end-of-life decisions. Even with these formal legal documents, your specific wishes may not be clear. You may want to consider writing a letter to accompany your documents, which can clarify grey areas.
Consider moving to senior housing while you’re still healthy
One of the most proactive steps that seniors can take to make sure they will receive the care they need in the future is to move to senior housing before major health issues arise. This decision not only provides seniors with the peace of mind that comes with knowing they will not be a burden to their adult children, it also can alleviate potential tension between siblings who have differing ideas about how and where mom and dad should live and receive care. In addition to having a plan in place for future care needs, residents of retirement communities often describe how much they enjoy the independent living lifestyle they have today, including comprehensive wellness programs, social benefits, and more.
Coming from a place of love
For those seniors who hope to avert disagreements among their adult children, some frank discussions and advanced planning can simplify future decisions. When making choices about caring for an aging parent, one of the most important things that siblings can do is to remember they are ultimately on the same team, wanting what is best for mom and dad.
Helping you through the process
Oasis Senior Advisors can provide you with the support and guidance you need throughout this process. We offer resources for seniors and their families, so you can feel confident in your senior housing selection.