End of life planning is very difficult. On the one hand, you must understand what your assets are and contemplate how to dispose of them after your death in a way that is meaningful to you and the people or organizations you gift. On the other hand, you must identify your standard of medical care and treatment and be able to communicate it to a responsible person so that if and when you lose mental capacities and capabilities, your actual wishes are followed.
Even the best-laid plans can leave you vulnerable and at the mercy of the people around you – spouses or partners, children, and business associates – before you die. An estate plan does not protect someone before he or she dies.
Financial mismanagement concerns
Accusations of financial mismanagement are often levied or thrown around the responsible party in circumstances where one family member is appointed the guardian or has the responsibility to call the shots when financial or medical issues arise.
Because of family drama, lack of communication, or understanding of the long-term medical and financial planning needs of the affected loved one, non-responsible parties with emotional attachment to the person at issue, check and complain about how their loved one is being treated or how their affairs are being handled. Things can always appear amok. A closer look however, often reveals other considerations.
Elder domestic violence
Take for example, elder abuse. More difficult to assess and understand are circumstances where the loved one is being mistreated verbally and physically by a spouse, partner, child, or business associate. How can the other family member or friend act to protect them?
Domestic violence never ages. It can occur early in a relationship, at the midpoint, or at the end. A spouse or partner and child can mistreat an elder spouse or partner. The elder spouse or partner may lack the competency to speak out and complain about the abuse and even get help when an incidence of violence is occurring. Often the only clue are unexplained cuts and bruises.
Financial elder abuse is discussed above. The key takeaway in circumstances surrounding financial elder abuse is to find instances of misuse of money or concealment of assets for use of the financial benefit of another person. Other types of abuse on the elderly include:
- Abandonment: leaving your loved one alone for most of the day or at night if the care is supposed to be occurring at night. This also includes withholding walking aids, like a wheelchair, crutches, or walker, so that the individual may not move anywhere.
- Neglect: Failure to groom, or provide food, clothing, and shelter, Medical care and the withholding of medications can be neglectful or intentional so that the individual stay sick.
- Sexual: Any nonconsensual sexual contact is suspect especially if the person lacks the capacity to consent because of dementia or other mental limitation.
- Physical: pinching, Slapping, hitting, bruising, or restraining.
- Emotional: Inflicting mental anguish and distress through verbal and nonverbal acts. Threatening, intimidating or humiliating conduct apply.
Get help, if your loved one is being abused. Contact the domestic violence hotline online or at (800) 799-7233.