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Visits With Aging Parents May Spur Concerns

When the holidays bring families together, sometimes worry is a byproduct of all that warmth.

For the adult children of parents getting up there in years, a seasonal gathering might provide something of an unwelcome wake-up call, but one they need to heed nonethless.

“Little things you can’t learn in a phone call can come to light,” according to the website Agingparents.com. Their health may be a concern because you see visible changes on your visit, such as weight loss or the appearance of neglect. Their cognitive skills may be a worry because you notice that they are having trouble tracking the conversation. Or the memory loss you chalked up to ‘just getting old’ is now a significant problem. Sometimes, they just look frail.”

“It’s hard to watch our parents grow old,” offers AgeWiseCounseling.com. “Regardless of our earlier relationship with them, they are still our primary attachment figures, and most of us feel the need to keep them safe and in a secure environment as the difficulties of aging arise for them.”

“As disturbing as mid-life transitional problems may be, there’s one problem that seems to stand above the rest: caring for elderly and failing parents,” Dr. Joseph Luciani points out on the website healthylivingnyc.com.

Rather than be disturbed, the youngest of Baby Boomers and the children of the first wave of that generation should take heart and take action.

First and foremost, these first signs of a decline in cognitive skills should lead to getting legal affairs in order. Ensuring the existence of such documents as durable power of attorney and a living will, and learning where they are kept, can go a long way toward easing the minds of both the children and the aging parents. Attorneys specializing in legal issues relating to the elderly will help guide the parties in the right direction.

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