An aging adult has the legal right to make decision about their own status. This can be frustrating for family members that see the need for some type of Eldercare intervention. However, no one can force or coerce an adult against their will to accept or not accept help or assistance. It is recommended that all mentally competent adults prepare documents that state their wishes in the event of mental or physical incapacity. This can include Durable Power of Attorney, Advance Care Directives, Do Not Resuscitate, and POLST forms. Elder Law attorney’s can also handle these matters. Adult Protective Services, a local government agency is also a resource to determine if a aging adult is in need of care and supervision.
Quite often adult children or other family members are unprepared for a crisis or series of events that impact the life of an aging adult. An imminent crisis or series of events can include falls, adverse reaction to medication, over medication, acute confusion and/or disorientation, or an acute medical event such as a stroke or heart attack. These events are followed by an emergency room visit, hospitalization or a physician’s appointment which typically result in the first of many recommendations for some type of Eldercare.