Deciding “what’s best” when it comes to the living situation, care, and medical supervision of elderly relatives can be the most difficult choice a family will face. Whether it’s a parent, a grandparent, or another close relation, seeing someone that you love deteriorate both physically and mentally until he loses the ability to care for himself can be devastating.
Even in the best of situations, knowing the absolute right thing to do might be impossible. And no matter how much research you do, and no matter how much expert advice you get, making the right choice can still be extremely challenging and create a tremendous sense of guilt.
It’s understandable that families might fight over the best course of action when it comes to aging relatives. As Jeff Anderson outlines in the Senior Living Blog, there are certain conflicts that many families have to deal with over and over again.
The Senior’s Wishes
One of the most common obstacles to placing a loved one into a senior care facility is that it might be against the senior’s wishes. Even if you are certain that it will be the best option for his health and well-being, knowing that it is going to upset him will naturally make anyone hesitate. Unfortunately, senior citizens often have such diminished faculties that they might actually be at risk of doing harm to themselves or others if they aren’t constantly monitored. In many instances, an elderly person might not have the mental capacity to make such a decision for him or herself.
In these cases, it might be necessary to ask the court to intervene. Conflict will naturally give any loving relative pause, but you have to remember that you have the best interests of your loved one in mind.
No Unity Between Relatives
Sometimes, relatives will disagree with each other about the best course of action. Everyone might be acting with the best of intentions, but still have honest disagreements over the right way to care for an aging loved one.
In situations like this, it always helps to discuss end-of-life options with loved ones prior to them becoming an issue. For the senior citizen, having a living will or some other documentation can help avoid these types of disagreements.
If things start to get heated, it might be necessary to go to neutral third party, like the court, to protect your loved one from being taken advantage of. When you do, it’s critical to have a family attorney to be a knowledgeable and proactive advocate for you and your relative in order to arrive at the best resolution for everyone.
Kreisher Marshall & Associates, LLC have been representing central Pennsylvania families for more than four decades. We have the experience and resources to help you make sure that your loved ones are fully protected and we will guide you through the sometimes difficult decisions that face relatives. Call us today at (570) 784-5211 to schedule a free consultation.