This blog is part of a year-long series aimed at addressing some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from family and adult children on the topics most concerning them regarding their aging parents or loved one. In 2012 Hebrew SeniorLife published the eBook "You & Your Aging Parent: A Family Approach to Lifelong Health, Wellness & Care," a compilation of answers from HSL geriatric experts in response to the many of the most frequently asked questions. We're reposting some of the most popular Q&A posts from our original eBook which was downloaded over 2,000 times. We're also adding new Q&As throughout the series that address topics not originally included in our eBook. Sign up to receive the blog series and download our original eBook at www.hslindependentliving.org.
When does decision-making transition from my loved one to me?
Observe how your parents are functioning cognitively and emotionally in their current situation. Some simple questions to ask include:
- Are they becoming increasingly isolated and no longer enjoying or participating in their favorite activities?
- Are they forgetting to pay bills or paying them multiple times?
- Are they not able to manage the various medications that have been prescribed?
- Are you worried about your parent’s ability to drive and/or has he or she been involved in accidents recently?
- Have you traveled in a car with your parents and witnessed they are not as aware as they should be when driving?
- Was your mother a meticulous housekeeper, but now her apartment looks cluttered and dusty?
- Has either of your parents lost weight recently?
If your answers to the above questions suggest there is cognitive decline or depression, then seek out a cognitive assessment from a physician or neurologist. This assessment is used to determine if there is a progressive cognitive decline and what the cause of that decline might be. If the assessment determines they lack the capacity to understand fully the decisions they are making and the consequences of those decisions, the geriatric care manager can help craft a proactive approach to helping your parents.
To download your copy of our “You and Your Aging Parent” ebook, visit our website, www.agingredefined.org.