Aging Parents Refusing Help: How to Respond
Here’s how to be a respectful caregiver for elderly parents without sacrificing your own happiness:
Signs such as avoiding the loved one, anger, fatigue, depression, impaired sleep, poor health, irritability or that terrible sense that there is “no light at the end of the tunnel” are warnings that the caregiver needs time off and support with caregiving responsibilities.
Legally, some states (28 of them) have Filial Responsibility Laws on the books requiring adult children to financially care for aging parents. Morally, many adult children feel obligated to care for their parents as they age but family dynamics and psychological issues may impede that moral compass.
In the U.S., requiring that children care for their elderly parents is a state by state issue. Other states don’t require an obligation from the children of older adults. Currently, 27 states have filial responsibility laws. However, in Wisconsin, children are not legally liable for their elderly parents’ care.
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Caregivers are important if you don’t have the time to go visit your parents regularly. Beyond your own schedule, they also help aging parents with health care and chores and can keep them lively. You shouldn’t let the presence of a caregiver take your place in the lives of your aging parents.
Why do elderly parents become mean sometimes? Physical and mental health problems that lead to cognitive change also often lead to behavioral changes. This is due to the loss of neurons in the brain, and the way it affects an elderly person’s behavior depends on where this neuron loss is occurring.
Hold a meeting with family and friends who have an interest in the person’s care. Explain why you must stop caregiving. Ask if anyone is able to take over the job or if a few people might share the responsibilities. If no one is willing, talk about what other options may be available.
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These laws, called filial responsibility laws, obligate adult children to provide necessities like food, clothing, housing, and medical attention for their indigent parents.
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A nursing home doesn’t take all of your money the second you walk through the door. Nursing homes do cost a tremendous amount of money – often over $200 a day – so, eventually, a person may end up paying all of his money to the nursing home, if he lives long enough in the nursing home.