When to Bring in Help to Deal with Tough Topics

Sometimes difficult conversations can turn into an insurmountable conflict between you and your aging loved one. When this happens it’s probably time to bring in a third party (not the adult child) to facilitate conversation and mediate conflict. This can include additional relatives, friends, geriatric specialists, and even lawyers.

“This conversation may need to be more direct,” says Robins. “It may have to include a discussion of the risks and the possibility that if they don’t voluntarily yield, say, their driver’s license or residence—there is a risk that others will take over because of the dangers involved, and then they may have less say in what comes next. They can be told it’s better to work on it voluntarily with someone who loves them and only wants to help them get what they need.”

If the issue is critical and the person still won’t make a safe choice, it may be time to get a family doctor and lawyer involved to evaluate competency and, if appropriate, activate a power of attorney or appoint a guardian who can make safe choices on the person’s behalf.

For more information, visit: caring.com

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