Age Gracefully With A Plan In Place

When elderly parents resist necessary changes

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2023 | Elder Law |

For the past five or six months, you have noticed a decline in the physical and/or mental condition of your elderly parents. You want them to move into a retirement community where they will be safe and supervised as needed.

They see no reason for leaving the two-story family home where they have lived for over 50 years. Is there a compromise in sight?

Work with them to achieve common goals

You can argue all you want that they won’t be able to handle another Indiana winter. But is that really true? With some accommodations and assistance in place, they may do just fine. Making small changes like arranging for a local business to shovel snow and salt the walk or moving them downstairs into a smaller bedroom so the stairs are no longer a daily challenge might also allow them to stay longer in their present home.

Consider expanding the professional team

Many parents consider their adult children to be “the kids” and thus incapable of taking the helm of the family ship even as it’s headed straight aground. But those same stubborn parents may listen aptly to their attorney, financial planner or physician as they present the same set of estate planning options you’ve been pushing.

Find your way together

What is your biggest concern? Likely, it is safety — their own and that of others. Instead of working on getting them out of the home they share, focus on getting them to surrender the car keys and arranging for them to have rides available when they need to go to the store, church, pharmacy and medical appointments.

Realize, too, that older adults should enjoy personal autonomy for as long as possible. Rather than making drastic changes to their lifestyle, incremental changes are typically far easier to accept. A good place to start is ensuring that they both have living wills and medical and legal powers of attorney in place.