We decided to write this book for those adult children who are taking care of their parents, either by making the arrangements for care or actually providing hands-on care. It is our hope that these pages serve as a helpful, easy-to-understand informational guide to a smooth elder care planning experience and the maximum quality of life for all involved.
Originally observed by Victoria as a nurse aide and Shannon as a nursing home volunteer —and particularly over the past two decades of our legal careers—we have observed the way children manage their aging parents’ care and financial matters. We have found that there are two distinct styles, one of which is much more successful than the other.
The first style is centered around the idea that the child becomes the “parent” to their parent; this is something we hear over and over from clients’ children. The problem with this mindset and approach to caregiving is that it is often overwhelming, burdensome, and has negative impacts on the dynamic of the relationship and the power play between the child and parent.
The second style involves the child acting as CEO and CFO in the parent’s life. With this mindset, the adult child can preserve a positive relationship with their parent, and both parties can work to achieve the same goal, which is quality of care and quality of life for BOTH the parent and the adult child.