When healthcare issues arise many look to family members for support. This may be difficult because today there are simply more challenges. In some families, siblings moved apart early in life and really never maintained relationships or children have become estranged. So when a parent or sister needs care, who steps up? Sometimes family members will help short term but do not want to take on a permanent responsibility. It’s like raising your children, becoming and empty nester and then being asked to again take on responsibility for the care of another person. For many who have worked long and hard, this time in their lives is intended to enjoy retirement. For some, it’s just not their responsibility to take on, especially when the person in need has been absent in their lives for the past thirty to forty years. This is the time when unrealistic expectations result in guilt for family members. If financial resources exist, a guardian and or conservator may be appointed. If no resources exist then it’s up to each state and county department to determine how and who best can oversee the care of the individual in need. The best advice is to plan ahead, because many who thought this would never happen to them are sitting in wheelchairs in the hallways and lobbies across America.

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About Pamela Wilson

PAMELA D. WILSON, MS, BS/BA, NCG, CSA helps caregivers and aging adults solve caregiving problems and manage caregiving needs through online programs, live support groups, and an extensive caregiving library that includes articles, podcasts, videos, and webinars.

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