“Respect Your Elders” was a phrase that I heard growing up and one I suspect many of you did as well.
Unfortunately, after years of contribution to their communities and their families, there are some older individuals who are marginalized and in some instances taken advantage or even abused; and this is not necessarily done by strangers.
Family members can also, either knowingly or not, fail to treat their elderly loved one with the respect they deserve and this can place them in compromising situations. Knowledge is power and we can assist by ensuring that the proper legal documents are in place. Powers of Attorney are two key documents that are available so that sound decisions regarding personal care and finance, can be made when the person is no longer capable.
Communication is key to ensure that wishes, wants and preferences can be understood and acted upon. Take the time to find out what your parents’ wishes are and encourage that they be formally recorded. This knowledge will go a long way in ensuring that their wishes can be respected and acted upon, even when the older person is no longer able to communicate it themselves.
Start the conversation.