Aging Gracefully, Or Not - 8 Mistakes Made by Older Adults and Their Families Due to Fear of Aging

by Diane Carbo • Member { View Profile }
  • Family disagreement
    Inaction by family members due to differences of opinion with in a family as to what care is needed, and where and from whom it should come. Nothing can revive conflicts in adult siblings more than making decisions about an aging parent. All the old roles, parents favorite, the black sheep, the unresolved battles and family rivalries resurface. Old family dynamics come back, and adult siblings can sabotage wise decisions during those anxiety producing conversations about the aging parent. There are also cultural differences, where the eldest son, no matter what his relationship with his aging parents has been, is expected to be the decision maker in those families. Many of the sisters/daughters in these cultures are not involved in the decision making process, even though they are the ones that have been providing the care. It is important to focus, as a group, on what your parents would want and provide them with the best possible care in a safe and comfortable environment. In these situations, an outside objective third party is recommended. There are eldercare facilitators, care managers and eldercare consultants to assist your family through this process.
  • Misunderstanding of what health insurance, long term care, and supplements provide
    It is important for seniors and their family members to investigate and understand what Medicare, Medicare supplements and Medicaid covers. If your aging parent has long term care insurance, it is also important to review waiting periods, cost of living riders and home care coverage. This is the first time many family members hear the term, "spend down". Spend down is depleting private or family finances to the point where an individual is sufficiently poor to meet the eligibility criteria for Medicaid. The spend down process and transition to poverty can involve multiple losses. It is wise to consult an elder care attorney early, before a crisis to assist you in planning to protect your aging parent’s assets.
  • Concern over financial loss and downsizing
    Many aging adults have worked their entire life and they want to leave an inheritance. They do not want to give up everything they have worked for. There are emotional and logistical factors of downsizing. It is emotionally traumatizing and overwhelming to the aging parent to give up their possessions. For many, their former lifestyle was their identity. It is can be a difficult transition to fit into this new lifestyle. People want to age in their homes and do not realize there are options available to them to help keep them there. Eighty percent of long term care is provided by families, not institutions. There are more than 20 million Americans that provide care for an aging loved one. This allows the aging parent to continue to age in place in the comfort of familiar surroundings and be close to their loved ones.

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