Five Things NOT to Argue About With Dad!

Dad's Senior Care Manager, Plan of CareYour Father has likely been a source of strength and support for you all your life. Now that he is older and your roles seem to be changing, he is probably looking for someone to calm his fears about the future and find a loved one he can trust to make things easier for him. Are you that person?

Whether you are a son or a daughter, realize that your Dad is lucid enough to realize he now has certain limitations. He needs help but still wants desperately to hold to some shred of his independence and still be treated with respect. Here’s a few helpful hints on how to navigate around the tough topics due to come up as Dad gets on in years:

~   DRIVING: Being able to get in car and go where and when you want to go is what gives most people a sense of freedom and independence (remember when you were 16 and got the keys to the car???!!!). So it can’t come as a surprise that trying to take that away from a parent is going to wreak havoc. Proceed slowly and with caution, negotiate small steps at a time. Get them to drive less frequently, limit the locale, insist on daylight hours only, etc. If Dad is physically or mentally impaired, get the doctor or a clinician  to do an assessment. A third party can more easily remind Dad that a car could harm him and someone else. You may want to read our article, “What Time is the Right Time for Seniors to Give Up the Car Keys?” Click HERE.

~  FINANCES: Seniors and their $$$ are often preyed upon by unscrupulous and un-credentialed financial “advisors” or online and telephone scammers. Often Dad is just so good-hearted he wants to give away money to bogus charities that he can’t afford to give. Asking for a look at the checkbook or credit card statements might be perceived as meddling, so better to just offer to help balance the checkbook and organize financial statements on a regular basis so you can see if anything “irregular” is going on. You may want to read our article, “The Nasty Facts About Elder Abuse and Fraud!” Click HERE.

~  SAFETY: If a parent is over 65, statistics show that falls are the leading causecommunicate with aging seniors of injury and death. How do you keep Dad from being a statistic? Physical limitations are an unwelcome reality as we age, yet how do you suggest a cane or walker when you know they will be insulted? Try talking about grab bars in the shower to start. Tell Dad how much YOU worry. Do a household audit to uncover hazards waiting to happen and start by fixing the small things like unsecured carpets, dangerous steps, hanging wires, clutter they could trip over, etc. Kick it up a notch by keeping an eye on your parents when they cook in the kitchen and watch how they handle appliances and the stove or oven.  A life alert system won’t help if they don’t wear it, so try the psychological approach “…what if you fell and had to wait in pain till someone discovered you?” You may want to read our article, “Best Bets to Fend Off Falls.” Click HERE.

~  MEDICAL ISSUES: Has Dad not been completely honest about that last doctor visit or medical test result? Does he not want you to worry or has he not understood what the doctor said or the severity of the problem? If you are observing troublesome symptoms, missed medication doses, or Dad skipping his checkups and tests, speak up. Consider a third party or patient advocate like a Care Manager. A CCM allows you to remain neutral but can get to the bottom all things medical. They can accompany your parent to the physician and therapy appointments, manage the meds and keep you in the loop! You may want to read our article, “Care Managers Provide Access and Advocacy for the Elderly.” Click HERE.

~  ESTATE PLANNING: No one wants to talk about end of life, yet if Dad want his wishes respected, certain paperwork needs to be in place like a power of attorney, health care surrogate document, a last will and testament, a living will and organ donation papers, funeral preferences, etc. Bring this up in a loving and supportive way and it will be hard for Dad to get angry at you for suggesting it. Chances are he will not want to be a burden to you or your Mom and will not want the courts stepping in to make decisions affecting him or the family. You may want to read our article, “Health Care Surrogate Law Changes of Interest to Seniors.” Click HERE.

Contact Us: It’s important to keep things as positive as possible when finding ways to help our parents age well and gracefully at home. Transitioning into a family caregiver is the most difficult, but also the most loving act. Regal professionals can provide options and assistance for an optimal outcome both before, during, and after you assume responsibility for a parent. We not only design and coordinate a plan of care, but act as true advocates for Seniors in their sunset years. Not only can we identify helpful local resources for you, but our medical assessments, physician and medication management programs, and hourly/daily companion service can be comforting to both family members and Seniors as well. Whether your needs are short term or long term, and you live near or far from your loved one, contact Ferial Andre, RN, CCM, CDP, for more information at 561-499-8382 or

This article is not intended as medical, financial, or legal advice

Sunday, June 19, 2016 @ 04:06 PM