So much goes into giving care to one of our elders. They may be fiercely independent – which is a good thing, most of the time – and they may hold onto the reins with cold, dead hands. Long after they’re gone. Some folks try to control things from the grave. Conversely, they may be fiercely dependent – which isn’t such a good thing at any time – and they let anyone into their business. The family may never know of all the people who have insight into their business. That’s where elders can be taken advantage of, where things may go south.
I had an uncle who trusted anything Veteran or Police related. What that translated to, was when the telemarketers called and claimed to be either Veteran or Police related, he would donate. His kids had to lower the boom, and say, “If it happens again, you’ll need to go to assisted living.”
And then, there was the unscrupulous cousin of the neighbor, who got into the bank account and slowly depleted their Mom’s checking account; no one knew anything was amiss, until it was time to pay the funeral expenses. There was no money for that. How sad; their own kids would cause that issue for their parent.
What do your parents have set-up for when they’re aging quickly? Has your family discussed it at all?
Most people would rather sweep all this under the rug. The less said, the better. That is in no way how to deal with reality. Grown-ups talk about their business with family or someone they can trust. Believe me, there are some folks who cannot trust their kids, step-kids, cousins, and other relations to tend to business when we’re near the end of our journey’s and need someone to facilitate our final wishes.
I am so glad attention is cast upon elder abuse now. There are laws, law firms, lawyers whose specialty is elder law, and it’s a darned good thing we have them. The elderly are sometimes trusting, and that can cause trouble if they trust the wrong person. I’m so glad we haven’t seen that in our family, to my knowledge.
There can be no hint of impropriety when it comes to our elders. They have worked hard their entire lives, and deserve some peace in their twilight years. Too often, we hear of their kids or others who have an unscrupulous agenda at heart. That sort of news makes me so sad. Sad for the elders who trust; sad there are such bad people in the world, and sad the elders suffer because of it. If they pass away not knowing, that’s one thing, but if they know the person they trusted violated that trust that is inexcusable.
I have to say, I’m proud of the people Mom has around her. My two younger brothers are spending time each week with her, doing chores, errands, etc. I’m going to add two days a week, with time spent visiting, catching up, doing bills, etc. Taking Care of Business. When someone is nearly deaf and nearly blind, they could use a hand. It doesn’t mean they’re incompetent, it just means they need eyes and ears to assist. They can still be in charge. Delegating is hard, but possible.
The most uncomfortable conversations are the ones that need to be had. Every single time. Spouse to spouse. Parent to child. Sibling to sibling. Friend to friend. Wherever you are in life, make sure a trusted someone knows your wishes. Yes, it’s hard. But you are doing your survivors a huge favor. When the State gets involved, everyone loses. Give a gift. Make your final wishes know. Whatever age you are.
We’ll see each other again tomorrow. Have a safe, productive Monday.