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When should you talk to your elderly parents about guardianship?

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2024 | Guardianship

We all want our elderly parents to live happy, independent lives for as long as possible. But sometimes, age or illness can make it difficult for them to care for themselves safely. 

If you’re concerned about your parents’ well-being, you might be wondering if it’s time to discuss guardianship. It is important to recognize some signs that might indicate it’s the right time to have this conversation.

Declining physical or mental health

Has there been a noticeable decline in your parents’ physical or mental health? This could include difficulty with daily tasks like bathing, dressing, or managing medications.  Perhaps they’ve experienced a recent fall or shown signs of confusion or forgetfulness. These can be indicators that they might need additional support.

Financial difficulties

Are your parents struggling to manage their finances? Maybe they’re forgetting to pay bills, falling victim to scams, or making risky financial decisions. This could be a sign that they need help managing their money to avoid financial hardship.

Safety concerns

Are you worried about your parents’ safety at home? Perhaps they’ve left the stove on unattended, wandered away from home, or had close calls while driving. These safety concerns suggest they might need someone to oversee their well-being.

Social isolation

Have your parents become withdrawn or isolated from social activities? This could be a sign of depression or loneliness, which can worsen with age.  If they’re neglecting social connections, they might need help staying connected and engaged.

Open communication is key

If you’re noticing any of these signs, it’s important to have an open and honest conversation with your parents about their needs. Approach the conversation with love and concern, focusing on how guardianship can help them maintain their well-being and independence for as long as possible.

Seek professional guidance

Don’t feel pressured to navigate this situation alone. Consider seeking guidance from a lawyer who understands elder law or a social worker who can provide support and resources. They can help you understand your options and make informed decisions about your parents’ care.

Remember, you’re not alone

Talking about guardianship can be a difficult conversation, but it’s an important one to have if you’re concerned about your parents’ well-being. By approaching the situation calmly, you can ensure your parents receive the care and support they need to live safely and comfortably.