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ReAge, a combination of “redefine” and “aging,” means to question everything about the aging process. Through ReAging, we are challenging conventions in order to create and implement new standard-of-care approaches that will positively impact the lives of older adults.

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Making Decisions for Elderly Parents

You and Your Aging Parents

Emily Saltz, LICSW, CMC's picture
Making decisions for elderly parents
Making decisions for elderly parents

In the fall of 2012, Hebrew SeniorLife gathered together geriatric thought-leaders, researchers and physicians for our inaugural "You and Your Aging Parents" program, an important discussion about the steps one should take to help aging parents as they make decisions regarding health and well-being. Overwhelmingly positive response indicates the need for this information and Hebrew SeniorLife continues to offer this program. Check our events listing for upcoming events. 

In addition, we published expert advice from the first program in an ebook, You and Your Aging Parents,” which Hebrew SeniorLife is offering as a free downloadable pdf. The discussion also inspired our “You and Your Aging Parents” blog series, a series that includes this blog post and covers the various issues and concerns you may encounter as you and your parent/s continue on the journey of aging.

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.

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Founder & Director, Elder Resources

Emily B. Saltz is the founder and Director of Elder Resources, a private practice providing a full range of geriatric care management services for elderly clients and their families since 1992. The Elder Resources team includes four geriatric care managers serving the greater Boston area.

Emily received her Masters degree in Social Work from Boston University and is...

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