Home
In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 6, 2007 / 22 Meanachem-Av, 5767

Quarreling siblings jeopardize parents' care

By Jan L. Warner & Jan Collins


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Q: Our mother, 76, and father, 83, are in failing physical and mental health. Although I live closest to our parents and see them regularly, my two brothers — who live in other states — and I can't seem to agree on what is the best course of action to take. I believe that they need assisted living because they are leaving the stove on and not keeping clean, etc. My brothers want them to stay at home and think I should be available to handle things even though I am working. My husband believes that this is selfish because they don't want our parents' money spent in order to inherit it.


These conflicts are causing arguments and disruption in our family relationship, while our parents continue to suffer. My brothers and I even met with a lawyer to try to come to an agreement. But after 30 minutes, the lawyer lost control of the meeting and asked all of us to leave. My parents are very wishy-washy and won't sign a power of attorney. Their neighbors are concerned about them and call me at least once a day when Dad gets out of the house and wanders through the neighborhood. I clean up on Sundays, but their home is a wreck by Tuesday. I am at my wits' end, and no one has any suggestions about how to break the logjam. Do you?


A: In working with elderly individuals and their families on a plan for long-term care, it is important to understand that there are numerous unique concerns for the planner, some due to the intra-family dynamics like yours. To be effective, the issues should be assessed and addressed as early as possible in the planning process because all long-term-care planning is filled with conflicts.


The family must remember that providing the best care for the elderly person at the best price is the goal of the planning process. This, unfortunately, is not always clear and causes squabbles within the family, which can be avoided if family members are educated and understand that someone must be in charge. Here, that duty has fallen to you based on the facts you give.


Assuming your parents are able to participate in the planning process, they should be allowed to do so. Some of these conflicts include whether to preserve assets for beneficiaries (such as disabled children or a community spouse) or to use all assets to fund long-term care. And, if they are capable, a determination needs to be made as to whether your are comfortable with giving up control of assets and, if so, to whom. If not, alternate planning ideas should be discussed.


Another area of conflict is quality of care versus cost of care. Certainly, everyone wants the best care available for family members; however, as with any commodity, the more you get, the more it costs. Should your parents stay at home? Do they need residential care? Can a nurse and sitters come into the house to help? Can you continue to assist with their care? Do they need a nursing home?


Ideally, your parents and the children should determine what care can be afforded and still meet other financial needs based on their unique circumstances. But your situation does not allow for this type of negotiation.


Your parents and your siblings need to face the question of their needs versus their desires. Almost no one wants to be moved from home, but some people need to be in a facility. The perception of the elderly person's health and the ability of the family to care for him or her may be very different from the true facts.


Taking the NextStep: It would appear to us that your first order of business is to hire a lawyer with sufficient background in this area to take the bull by the horns and assure that an appropriate plan is implemented that is in your parents' best interests. In our view, given the stances of you and your brothers, the first lawyer meeting was doomed from the start and should not have taken place. If necessary, and it may well be, guardianship and conservatorship actions could be in the offing. Your parents should be evaluated by a geriatric care manager, and you should hire a lawyer to attempt to resolve the issues with no more input from your siblings.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JAN L. WARNER received his A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of South Carolina and earned a Master of Legal Letters (L.L.M.) in Taxation from the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a frequent lecturer at legal education and public information programs throughout the United States. His articles have been published in national and state legal publications. Jan Collins began co-authoring Flying SoloŽ in 1989. She has more than 27 years of experience as a journalist, writer, and editor. To comment or ask a question, please click here.

Archives

© 2007, Jan Warner

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles