When an elderly loved one requires ongoing care and assistance, it’s common for family members to disagree about caregivers, the type and frequency of care, and whether the older loved one should remain at home or live in a residential care facility. Additionally, many families delay making these important decisions until an aging loved one is critically ill or unable to live independently. In these stressful times, family conflicts are far too frequent. The following disagreements are among the most common.
Adult Children Disagree about How to Care for a Parent
This is perhaps the most common source of elder care planning conflict. In many cases, one child bears the burden of a parent’s daily care, while his or her siblings live out of state or are otherwise occupied with busy jobs or family obligations. When an elderly parent experiences a decline in health, it often prompts all the children to become involved, which can cause the caregiving child to feel resentful and bitter toward the less-active children.
Once these feelings surface, both sides should take active steps to address their feelings and talk about ways to share the burden of care. Although geographically distant family members might not be able to contribute in-person caregiving, they might be able to pay for in-home nursing to relieve a daily caregiver.
The High Cost of Long-Term Care
Because many families delay planning for an elderly loved one’s illness or incompetency, they are unprepared for the need for nursing home care or in-home assistance. If family members must pay out-of-pocket for these expenses, the cost can be a significant financial drain on everyone.
The Pressures of the “Sandwich Generation”
Individuals in their 40s, 50s, and 60s are generally known as the “Sandwich Generation” because they must deal with the dual pressures of caring for aging parents while raising their own teens and college-age children. The cost of paying for long-term care plus college while attempting to save for retirement is a huge drain on this demographic.
Addressing End-of-Life Decisions
End-of-life planning can be a sensitive topic, but it’s important to address these issues while an elderly family member is still competent to make decisions about his or her health care. Some individuals have strong opinions about removing life support, nutrition and hydration, and certain types of pain medication. Meeting with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney can alleviate many of the misconceptions about end of life planning and the laws that govern advance directives.
Unfortunately, money and inheritance issues are a common source of intense family conflict. In some cases, people fight over items that have little monetary value, such as a photograph or a set of dishes. As with most family disputes, talking about the feelings on each side usually goes a long way toward smoothing out conflict and locating a peaceful resolution everyone can live with.
Minnesota Estate Planning and Probate Law Firm
Call the Minnesota probate and estate planning attorneys at Jeffrey P. Scott & Associates, LLC today at (651) 968-1457 to learn more and to discuss your case.
This website has been prepared by Jeffrey P. Scott & Associates, LLC for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.