If you’re a member of a family with an elderly parent and siblings, you might worry about what will happen when the time comes to place your parent in a long-term care facility.
Typically, elderly parents are hesitant to leave the safety and comfort of their homes and move to a long-term care facility. The thought of long-term care may cause a parent considerable anxiety.
It can also create infighting among siblings, some of whom may insist Mom and/or Dad can live at home with in-home care. Of course, in-home care is an attractive option but is not always financially feasible.
Then there’s the never-gets-tired accusation from your parent that you and your siblings simply want to lock them away in a facility and throw away the key. (Don’t get me wrong — in very limited circumstances, this accusation may be true.)
In the end, you know that in-home health is financially untenable, and at a certain point your mother or father will require a level of care that will necessitate them to move into a long-term care facility.
Avoid having the hard conversation at an inopportune time (such as right before you’re about to move them into the facility or immediately after you’ve moved them). It’s important to discuss long before a decision has to be made.
A lot of family conflict is avoidable if you, your siblings, and your parent discuss what’s going to happen.
You want to prevent a sibling from feeling left out of the conversation. Try to avoid allowing a parent to feel decisions have been made without their input.
That is not to say that conflicts won’t arise during the planning process, and these conflicts can be beneficial at the outset. The sooner divergent opinions come to light, the easier it is to wade through some of the more impractical options.
It’s important not to be afraid of the discussion but to engage in it. It’s important to sort through whether one scenario or another is practical when it comes to long-term care decisions.
Attorney Neil T. Lyons pursued a career in law for the sole purpose of helping people. His practice focuses on the area of elder law, including estate planning, trust and probate administration and guardianship. His early legal experience solidified his commitment to assisting, whenever possible, two very vulnerable groups: children and the elderly. He receives repeated recognition by various organizations for his pro bono efforts in Manatee and Sarasota counties. Neil also consistently engages in service to the legal community and joined the Luhrsen Goldberg staff in 2019.