Fiscal prudence is all well and good for elders — but how do you deal with a parent who simply will not spend money on themselves, even where an objective observer would see that funds are available and the expenditure is needed for the elder's health and safety. It's a common discussion I have with the children of clients — Mom has the money in the bank, she needs repairs made on the house or to hire a home health aide for a few hours of help a day, but she weighs spending every penny and is depriving herself. However, she doesn't hesitate to assume that you'll take care of things, even though you work full-time and have a family of your own.
This is an undoubtedly difficult conversation. As long as your parents are legally competent, they have the right to exercise poor judgment. You have to decide whether you want to allow them to “crash and burn” or to help when you know that your parents are more than capable of hiring the help they need and you don't have the time or energy to take care of everything.
Where do you draw the line?
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