When the Tide Turns: Advocating for Aging Parents

When did your parents taking care of you change to you taking care of them? Often it happens slowly over time and you barely notice it until one day, you realize that it’s up to YOU to make sure your mom or dad is receiving the proper care and attention they need for a happy, healthy life.

Whether it’s related to health care, finances or daily living, chances are good that there will be a time that every adult child needs to step in and advocate for a parent. Aging people often don’t feel confident speaking up for themselves, or they’re just uncertain about making decisions. This vulnerability can have undesirable results if someone isn’t watching out for them.

A couple of stories.

One of my clients told me a story about how her mom had a “bad cold” which turned into a respiratory infection. She told her mom to call the doctor, but mom didn’t do that because she didn’t want to “inconvenience” the doctor with a cold. Mom ended up in the hospital with pneumonia.  My client felt horrible, realizing she should have made that doctor’s appointment for her mom.

A friend of mine told me about someone they know whose mom recently moved into assisted living, and still needs to sell her home.  Sadly, this was after the fact, or I would have stepped in, but she was so desperate to sell and just be done with it that she took some bad advice from another real estate agent and sold her home for way less money that she could have. No one from her family was helping her negotiate the sales contract.

The moral of the stories: Advocate!

These are sadly very common examples of what can happen when a caring family member isn’t advocating for their parent. Part of what I do as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist is help family members connect with resources to help them advocate. I collaborate with professionals in many areas of expertise (legal, tax, home organizing, contractors, just to name a few). Whatever you and your parent needs, I’m hear to steer you in the right direction.

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