Thursday, May 22, 2014

Challenges of Parental Advocacy and Care

Lynn A. Dean
Estate Planning Attorney
In her article, How to Be a Loving Advocate for Your Parents, Suzanne Gerber,  editor of the Living & Learning channel for Next Avenue aptly describes the challenges and progression of her mom’s advanced age related problems. Though each situation is unique, most of the baby boomer generation can relate in some way to the concerns: health & fitness, memory loss, finances and being taken advantage of.  The pressures of assisting our aging parents or other loved ones are usually coupled with helping our own grown children through economic challenges. Often, we are trying to juggle this along with own careers. With so many responsibilities, the balance of being respectful of our loved one’s independence and knowing when to step in can be difficult.  That said, there are basic foundations one can do now to ease some pressures. For example, this author writes how she began making a list of her mom’s medications, keeping a copy for her and one for mom.  Soon the list branched out to finances and home health safety.  I have always recommended to my clients who are concerned about their loved ones to begin building a database centered on this type of key information.  Who are the people your parents interact with?  Do you have the neighbors’ name and phone number?  What about medical history?  If something were to happen, do you have the name and phone number of their primary care provider?  What medications are they taking?  Do you know what senior resources are available in their community?

We offer a free download titled “toolkit for the sandwich generation.” This checklist prompts you to begin collecting information and is comprehensive.  However you do it, start out slow.  Don’t try to accomplish everything in one fell swoop!  Each time you visit or have contact begin asking the questions and writing it down.  Eventually you will have a necessary resource of valuable and helpful information should the need arise.  

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