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Old 12-08-2016, 09:06 AM
Location: SoCal
13,236 posts, read 6,340,776 times
Reputation: 9854


Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
I would agree with the bolded as a generalized principle, but not as a statement with universal application. If we imagine one of our parents living alone who becomes unable to prepare food reliably and who refuses help such as meals on wheels, then we have a parent whose nutritional needs are not being met. They would be living in filth also if they are unable to keep their place clean. Would you really be able to say to yourself, "Oh well, mom is stubborn and doesn't want to make any changes, so let her gradually waste away from not eating as it will mercifully shorten her life in all probability"? Wouldn't that be pretty hard-hearted?

It would be hard for me to stand by and watch, even from a distance of 2,000 miles, my own mother go through that. And I was not even very close to her emotionally. That scenario is exactly what my sister and I faced. I had just requested a referral to an attorney to inform myself about court-appointed guardianship when my mother relented (without knowing what we were thinking) and moved into an independent living facility, which she actually ended up liking. Meals were provided in a dining hall and once-a-week maid service was also part of the rent.

It is easy to say, as a matter of principle, to respect everyone's autonomy and let them face the consequences of their own stubbornness, but in actual practice such an approach could be extraordinarily painful.
You know I have a relative in this category. She's only 62, has been living like this in the last 12 years. The only difference is she still has a job because she needs money. Any probing from her relatives went unheard. So what can you do? Nothing. No rats in her house because of feral cats. Otherwise I'm sure there are some.
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Old 12-08-2016, 09:50 AM
Location: Florida -
8,767 posts, read 10,848,423 times
Reputation: 16640
Originally Posted by MI-Roger View Post
I perceive from your post that you have not yet had to deal with this heart wrenching decision, lucky for you. Allowing an incapable adult to live on their own, even when they are convinced they are adequately capable, is a form of neglect or cruel indifference.
Let me share another side of this situation. I've ministered over the years in nursing homes and assisted living facilities and am familiar with many family situations where the elderly are literally "dumped," by family members, who are rarely, if ever, seen again.

In some cases, I've seen these elderly folks 'downsized' to less expensive facilities (translate: cheap facilities with no amenities), by their families ... to "save the estate."

I know of at least two cases where the elderly individual suffered a severe health setback -- and family members went immediately to the attorney's office to check on the estate, before (and in one case, in lieu of) coming to check-out the condition of their elderly relative. In other cases, I've helped these elderly people secure legal assistance to protect them from predatory family members.

I did not state in my earlier post that elderly people with dimentia and alzheimers should not be "helped" to move to ALF and NH facilities. I said that this decision requires professional intervention -- NOT only the opinion of a family member who stands to gain financially from taking control of the estate.

I've honestly been appalled at the extreme things family members will do for money, when it comes to their elderly relatives. Of course there are situations where loving family members only want what is best for their aging relative, but setting standards based on anecdotal situations - leaves those without such relatives, at the mercy of financial predators.
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