Pay close attention to your aging parents on a holiday visit this year. Does the normally tidy house now seem neglected? Is there hoarding? Do you notice memory problems, confusion or physical unsteadiness? Discovering that a parent's physical or mental health is declining can be heavy on the heart. It also can be hard on your finances.
The turkey is practically in the oven and whether you’re waiting in the airport or preparing the guestroom, everyone is getting ready for the first family event of the Holidays. When it comes to meeting our elderly loved ones, however, it’s also important to remember to observe and ensure that they are fully supporting themselves
It’s an unfortunate burden of thought during the holidays, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an important one to bear in mind: as written by the Wall Street Journal not too long ago, you’ve got to ask, is it “Time for Elder Care?” And then there’s the other half of it: you’ve got to observe, understand, and react in such a way as to truly help the situation. It’s easy to over-react when the well-being of your loved ones is at stake.
Take the opportunity this holiday season to assess their needs and then, if something is amiss, work to find specific solutions. Your loved ones might not need full-time care, but perhaps a housekeeper or even gift cards for a few restaurant meals might help. If additional assistance is needed, assess the situation and look for the most appropriate benefits – local, state, veteran, or specific group benefits are important first steps – and be careful in your timing.
For more to think about, the original article is worth a read through. And as every year, be sure to fully enjoy your time with them and make the best of the holidays!
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Reference: The Wall Street Journal (November 4, 2012) “Time for Elder Care?”