Family Law

Parents vs. Adult Children: Granting Permission to Choose

Modern medical advances have made it possible for individuals to live well into their eighties, nineties and beyond. This extension on life, however, occasionally comes with a price. A growing senior population means that assisted care facilities are rapidly becoming a booming business, but there are times when retired parents who are now home alone may be refuse to live in an assisted living community. This can often be a heartbreaking decision because ‘home’ represents where these seniors have raised their families. It is a shrine that holds lifelong memories and cannot be replaced. Adult children see it differently, their childhood home is now a place of lonely solitude that presents many hidden dangers for their parents. There are a few strategies that an adult child can use to convince their parents that it is in their best interest to move to an assisted living facility.

Plan Early

According to advocates for assisted living in Duluth GA, planning early is one of the best methods for giving parents in a push the direction of considering a senior care facility since they will not always have the physical capacity to continue living a quality life on their own. Add to that, parents often become senile in their later years and without having taken the proper steps to plan ahead, an adult child will be in no position to help at that point should they refuse the care they need.

If adult children are proactive and speak with their parents early on, they can make the tough decisions and implement the proper steps that will ensure that they will have a much better chance of having their parent’s consent when they will need it most. Most importantly, the planning, creation and implementation of a living will and power of attorney in place is not only beneficial, it is crucial. The earlier these milestones are defined and put in place, the less likely an adult child will be met with insurmountable challenges in the future.

Seek Professional Help

Parents are often hesitant to trust their children’s judgement with regard to making a life changing decision to move to an assisted care facility. These empty nesters have raised their children, so they often still see them as such and feel that they know, better than anyone else, what is in their best interest. In a worst case scenario, an adult child can nudge their parent towards acceptance by joining forces with the medical professionals that have cared for them over the years.

When adult children and medical caretakers come together as allies, they may be able to successfully head off the possibility of having to come to the rescue of a parent. Inevitably, there will come a time when parents show signs of becoming a danger to themselves as a direct result of a mental or physical challenges that may come about which is often the case as one gets older. To have a trusted professional co-signing with adult children ensures that it is more likely that a parent will be accepting of placement in an assisted living facility.

Legally Speaking: The Final Decision

Let’s face it, some parents refuse to pass the reigns to their adult children under any circumstances. In these extreme cases, a child may have to go over their head and seek legal action as a worst case scenario. It is by no means ideal for an adult child to find themselves in a situation where they must force their parents into a facility against their will. The government recognizes everyone’s right to live as they wish, so they avoid situations involving force upon a law-abiding citizen and, as such, require just cause in order to enforce what the adult child, and cooperating powers that be, have deemed to be in the best interest of all parties involved.

It is important to note that assisted living facilities encourage seniors to take care of themselves in their later years when they might otherwise choose not to. This includes eating right, staying active, taking proper dosages of medicine, and following any additional doctor’s orders. Other allies adult children can join forces with include a trusted attorney assigned to the parent’s estate, or even the adult protective services organization, as a last resort. It bears repeating that setting up legal guardianship or conservatorship ahead of time will alleviate the need to force parents into assisted care, or anything else, for that matter. Adult children helping to make tough decisions, together with their parents, as they transition into their Golden Years should not have to use force as today’s assisted living facilities have so much to offer. The experience can, and should, be painless.

Placing a parent into an assisted living facility does not have to be a difficult task. Parents of adult children have certain rights that should not be taken away from them, and premeditated thought and consideration can circumvent a situation that could potentially become volatile. The fact of the matter is that there simply comes a time when a parent’s health and safety can only be protected if they have the necessary resources and assistance at their immediate disposal. However, there is no need to coerce or force parents into an assisted living facility. It bears repeating that if the idea of living in an assisted living community is presented early on, and in a positive manner, the transition will be a positive one.

Heather Shipp is a freelance writer and a contributing author for Dogwood Forest assisted living in Duluth GA. Known for their ability to exceed expectations and produce positive outcomes in seniors, this facility is one of 8 Metro Atlanta based assisted living communities and takes pride in measuring their success by the positive feedback they receive from residents and their family members.