It’s a common predicament. After the holidays have concluded, adult children are frequently left concerned about whether their parents can live safe independent lives. These adults often are left feeling uncertain about what the best decision is to make so that their parents remain safe but also do not have freedoms needlessly stripped. This year has made adult children more concerned than usual because with many people deciding to celebrate the holidays virtually, it’s becoming more difficult to recognize when someone can no longer live independently. Despite COVID-19, there are still several helpful strategies you can follow to have a conversation about long-term care with your parents now instead of later.
# 1 – Discuss Your Parent’s Daily Routine
Whether it’s in person, over the phone, or through video should, you should begin by chatting with your parents and discussing their lives as well as their routines. Some of the critical questions that you should ask include what are your parents’ daily habits and whether they find anything that limits their ability to live life as they once did. You should also inquire as to what modifications your parents have made to their daily lives as a result of the pandemic. Any clues that a parent’s basic daily living activities have ceased or are substantially limited should give rise to concern about the parent’s safety.
# 2 – Look for Indicators of Concern
You need not physically visit with your parents to spot signs of concern. Sometimes, a quick chat through FaceTime or Zoom can reveal various indicators. If you discover any alterations in your parents’ appearance, which might include losing weight, you should take note. It is also a good idea to remain observant of the parent’s grooming habits. Also, be observant of the parent’s living space and how orderly it is.
# 3 – If You Spot Signs of Trouble, Do Not Hesitate to Act
If you think that your parents need help, do not feel overwhelmed or confused about how to respond. Unfortunately, many people notice that parents could use some assistance but are unsure of where to begin providing assistance. Often, the best step to take in such a situation is to open up a discussion with your parents on the issue of their independence and standard of living and how it has changed over the last few years. Remember, approach this situation diplomatically instead of confrontationally. Also, realize that a parent might not be willing to accept your help at the current time. If you find yourself in such a situation, it is a good idea to ask the parent what help they would like to receive if they were no longer able to live independently at some time in the future.
Contact a Skilled New York Estate Planning Attorney
Remember, even though the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily changed our lives in many ways, it is still no excuse to delay conversations with loved ones about long term care. If you need an attorney to help guide you through this process, do not hesitate to contact Ettinger Law Firm today to schedule a free case evaluation.