By: Lois Jasmer
When you are in your early sixties with Parkinson’s Disease the thought of moving from your beautiful home near Covington, WA is not something you want to face. In your mind you are still the vibrant person you were 20 years ago. The reality is you are weak, ill, barely able to communicate and not capable of seeing the truth about your health and safety.
Unfortunately this is a true scenario about a client of mine. Her children, although they have Power of Attorney (POA), are also in denial about her situation. If it were your mother and she had fallen 8 times this year; can barely walk and lives on the second floor of her home, where the only way out is down the stairs; would you feel she is safe? Oh, she has a caregiver a couple hours a day in the morning and evening but they were hired from a Craigslist ad. Again, if it were your mom would you feel good about a caregiver you got off of Craigslist?
Also, did I mention the caregivers are off of Craigslist? When I had a conversation with mom about her caregivers I warned her how dangerous it is to hire from Craigslist as opposed to a reputable agency. Well, the inevitable happened and one of the caregivers stole her credit card and took her to the cleaners. Many families and seniors try to save a buck and go this private routed, but be warned you have no recourse when you hire privately like this. The in home care agencies I partner with have been in business for years and have a good solid business ethics. They background check their employees. They have L&I and insurance for their staff if something happens on the job. If my client were to fall with her caregiver coming down the stairs, she is at risk of losing everything in a lawsuit.
The two enlightening thoughts I want you to come away with here are that as the POA sometimes you need to make the safe, responsible decision for a parent that is no longer capable of making that decision on her/his own, no matter how tough of a decision it may be. The second one is, that if you choose to keep your parent home with care and not move her to a care facility call me for help finding a reputable, professional agency to bring into your parents’ home so you can have some peace of mind that your loved one is being well taken care of.
The mom isn’t to blame in this situation, as she doesn’t know any better. My own mother told me years ago when she was in her early 80’s that as long as she wasn’t looking in a mirror, she still felt the same way she did back in high school. As a POA and responsible for your loved one, make sure you’re aware of all the facts and options before you and always do the right thing for your loved one, even it’s the harder decision to make.