This could be one of the toughest situations that a caregiver ever faces, determining if your parents can still live on their own.
And it is compounded by not only the physical and mental limitations your parents suffering from, but also there are legal issues involved.
Because of the rights of the individual, unless you are able to prove your parents incompetent and get guardianship over them, your parents have free will. And that means that they are the decision maker when it comes to all aspects of their lives.
The result is that this can create horror stories where your parents, who are incapable of living safely on their own, are legally entitled to do so.
And here is the pickle that caregivers are in. First, they love and support their parents…yet, as their parents age they have to watch self-destructive behavior on the part of their parents. And legally can’t do anything about it.
So, the proposed solution to this certainly will not fit all scenarios, but as I think this through I am going to try and outline a course of action that will give the caregiver as much leverage as possible to convince their parents of the need to begin living with assistance (at an assisted living facility, nursing home, etc…).
And if the need unfortunately arises, you will at least have the ammunition you need in order to go through the process of establishing guardianship over your parents so that you have the power to make decisions on their behalf.
You Can’t Make This Evaluation On Your Own
Even though you have seen your parents decline there is no way that you can, on your own, tell them that they are incapable of living on their own.
First, you have to deal with the fact that they have told you what to do all their lives. They are going to immediately reject your opinion.
Now, in addition to having try to tell them what to do you are now telling them that should go to a nursing home, assisted living facility, etc…You know you are in for a fight on your hands.
And it is a fight that you will lose.
You Need To Bring In An Expert
The only way you have a shot at convincing them on your own is to get a professional to do a geriatric care assessment.
This can be done by a geriatric care manager who will come into your parents’ residence and make an independent evaluation of whether or not your parents are capable of living on their own.
In addition, if the evaluation shows that your parents are incapable of independent living, the geriatric care manager will be in a position to help you find assistance and also will be trained and experienced in dealing with seniors who are resistant to these ideas.
Finally, and this is worst-case scenario, the independent geriatric assessment is the information and evidence that you will need if you ever feel that is becomes necessary to seek guardianship of your parents…ESPECIALLY if they intend to fight the guardianship.
The evaluation from the geriatric care manager will provide you with all of the unsafe conditions that they are living in, as well as providing a physical evaluation of your parents to corroborate the fact that you are looking out for your parents’ best interest.
Ultimately, this is an extremely difficult choice that you have to make. And there is no way to give you advice on the subject…everybody’s situation is unique. But what I hope I have done is given you a means with which an independent evaluation of your parents capabilities can be done so ease the process of both talking to your parents and ultimately applying for guardianship.