On the one hand, there are numerous year-olds living completely independent lives; on the other hand, there are lots of people in their 70s and even 60s who find they need more help ifrom day to day. This decision causes families grief. No adult son or daughter wants to admit that a parent -- who provided life, nurturing and help to the child for so many years -- is now in need of care that simply can't be provided in return.

Does it make sense to drive back and forth between homes several times daily to make sure your loved one is eating enough, when a care facility would be able to feed him or her on time, every time, every day?

Can you afford to take time off your job to provide the level of care that is needed? How much time, given that the situation likely won't improve? Are you even able to provide the skilled level of care that is required? Maybe your loved one is still mostly independent, but is showing worrying signs such as forgetfulness or confusion. Are there care options available for those who don't need constant attention?

Does Your Elderly Parent Refuse Help?

We'll answer these questions throughout this article -- and learn five signs that your loved one may need the services provided by an assisted-living facility or nursing home. What happens when the child becomes the parent? Start the Countdown. Plenty of older people are fine living on their own -- but you need to know what to look for to make sure that's the case with a relative.

What to Do When Elderly Parent Refuses Assisted Living and Caregiving Services?

Related What happens when the child becomes the parent?In order for seniors to thrive and enjoy their golden years, maintaining a sense of freedom and independence is critical. Unfortunately, there comes a point when personal safety outweighs these, making it necessary to move in with a family member or into an assisted living facility. Proper nutrition is critical for aging seniors, making it a serious concern when an elderly individual quickly loses weight or looks malnourished.

Stacks of unopened mail and unpaid bills are the best indicator of financial troubles. You may be able to assist with these in the short-run, but a long-term inability to stay on top of bills and mail is a red flag that the senior is struggling to manage their day-to-day responsibilities.

Many seniors struggle to shower and groom themselves, which are two of the primary reasons for assisted living care. Completing household chores and regular maintenance is a challenge for many seniors. It may lead to injuries at home, and can lead to serious accidents when poor eyesight and depth perception lead to an auto accident. On the other hand, aging seniors have a tendency to over-medicate, which is harder to spot but just as dangerous as forgetting their medication.

To spot this potential issue, keep an eye on their medicine cabinet and watch for sudden increases or decreases in its contents. The only way someone can place a family member in a nursing home or assisted living facility against their will is by becoming their legal guardian. Even if the senior is incapacitated, the court may still appoint an attorney to ensure their rights are protected. Furthermore, the caregiver must violate that duty of care by failing to provide necessary care under that obligation.

Additionally, the senior must either be mentally incapacitated or unable to make their own decisions because of undue influence from the caregiver. Explain your concerns in a respectful manner, listen to what your family member has to say, and then do your best to address their concerns.

This will require certifying the senior as incapacitated, which is no easy task. Keep me signed in. Not a member? Sign up Forgot Password. Already have an account? Sign in Forgot Password. Sudden Weight Loss Proper nutrition is critical for aging seniors, making it a serious concern when an elderly individual quickly loses weight or looks malnourished.

Financial Troubles Stacks of unopened mail and unpaid bills are the best indicator of financial troubles.Many adult children wonder if they can be compensated for the countless hours that they spend caregiving for their aging parents.

The short answer to this question is yes, it is possible. Unfortunately, the short answer is insufficient, as the subject is complex. Many variables impact whether a loved one who requires care is eligible for such assistance, and what many people fail to ask, is if they, themselves as caregivers, are eligible. The article that follows comprehensively explores the many different options and programs that can be used to pay family members as caregivers.

An alternative approach is to use our Paid Caregiver Program Locator. Of all the programs that pay family members as caregivers, Medicaid is the most common source of payment. Medicaid has eligibility requirements that apply to the program participant and it has rules that dictate who is allowed to provide them with care. The bad news is that not all four are available in every state, but the good news is at least one of the four is available in every state.

The first and most common Medicaid option is Medicaid Waivers. Waivers allow states to pay for care and support services for individuals residing outside of nursing homes.

Commonly, they pay for personal care assistance with activities of daily livingsuch as eating, dressing, and mobility and chore services provided for elderly or disabled persons who live in their homes or the homes of family members.

However, the concept of consumer direction is available in all states. A variety of other terms or phrases are employed to describe this same concept. Waivers are offered as an alternative to nursing home care.

Waiver names, eligibility requirements, and benefits are different in each state. While nursing home Medicaid is an entitlement, Waivers are not entitlements.

They are enrollment capped, meaning there is a select number of people who can be enrolled in the program, and waiting lists are fairly common.

A complete list of Waivers that allow family members to be paid as caregivers is available here. Unlike Waivers, regular Medicaid is an entitlement program; if an applicant meets the eligibility requirements, then they can receive benefits. Waiting lists do not exist. Please note that some states elect to offer personal care services in the home and community through their state plan via an option called Community First Choice CFC.

Similar to how Waivers offer consumer direction of services, State Plan Personal Care often allows the beneficiary to choose their care provider. Family members, including adult children can be chosen to provide care for their mothers and fathers. Again, like Waivers, the adult children caregivers are paid the Medicaid approved hourly rate for their efforts. During the initial enrollment process, the elderly individual is assessed, and it is determined how many hours per week they require care services.

A list of state Medicaid programs that offer the choice of provider in their personal care benefit is available here. This option does not directly pay the adult child for their caregiving efforts on an hourly basis, but instead compensates them indirectly. To better understand this option, some background information on Medicaid eligibility is required.

Eligibility for elderly persons is based largely on their income and their assets. However, if one moves from their home into a nursing home, for examplethen their home is no longer considered an exempt asset unless their spouse lives there or the Medicaid recipient expresses an intent to return home. This is known as Medicaid Estate Recovery.Go to Page Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members.

I've seen a couple of mentions of folks being threatened with being reported to authorities for abandonment or neglect of an elderly parent.

I'm wondering if people who have faced that situation or even been threatened could post something about the circumstances. My therapist has warned me that this is a possibility although a remote one in my own case and I find the idea outrageous. My situation is: my mother has such severe balance and mobility problems that she's not safe alone unless she's sitting in a chair or lying in bed.

To be absolutely safe, she'd need someone to help her stand up and sit down, help her in the shower and bathroom, and bring everything she needs meals, reading materials, beverages, etc. No lone person could provide this kind of care and frankly I'm not willing to have my entire life tied up that way. My mother needs to be in assisted living, but her income won't cover it, she has no savings, and family members won't or can't contribute.

I don't understand how the legal authorities can expect family members to keep an elderly parent safe in this type of situation, but it seems they do, at least sometimes or in some places. Last edited by wannagonorth; at AM. Reason: font too small - too hard to read. Does she have equity in her home? Have you considered applying for Medicaid? Don't focus on what legal authorities will do to your family just yet Originally Posted by Stagemomma.

Originally Posted by wannagonorth. I have considered and am still considering applying for Medicaid, but I doubt she's eligible yet based on her current functioning. And, even if she qualified, it would mean a nursing home, to which she would never agree. Originally Posted by WellShoneMoon.

can family members be held liable for allowing an elderly parent to live alone

I question whether your assumptions are correct. I think you need to consult a legal expert, asap. We have been told we will be charged with elder abuse by abandonment. We have been reported 3x to the police. Initially, we paid to have someone come to our mother's home on weekdays and my brother or I would be there on weekends meaning I would have to fly there. The next time if there's another incident we will lose ability to provide her care and she will become a ward of adult protective services.Aging is a fact of life and it affects all families.

As adult children, when imagining our parents as seniors, we may not fully comprehend the extent to which their aging will affect them or how it will affect us. Indeed, if they are already seniors and still in good health and living independently we may not feel any dramatic changes or concerns.

However, the time does come when effects of aging become more evident and long-term care may be needed. The well-being of our parents is our ultimate wish as they age and live out the last years of their lives.

The more aware we are of how aging can affect them, and what options are available to them as seniors and us as caring adult children, the better for all involved.

Elder Neglect Laws

Essentials necessary to the dignity and physical and emotional well-being of our elderly parents is to ensure their daily living requirements are met effectively. The basic ADL activities are typically listed as:. If they have impaired mobility and health issues that make it difficult or impossible for them to take care of these ADLs independently then you need to find them the appropriate help. Financial Tools for Post-Retirement - Learn about the financial tools available for your post-retirement years.

Read More. Taking an honest look at where an elderly parent needs support is the first step and then assess at all the possible solutions in order get them the help they need. Other types of daily living activities, not necessarily fundamental, but related to independent functioning are called instrumental activities of daily living IADLs.

can family members be held liable for allowing an elderly parent to live alone

IADLs most often refer to the following types of activities with long-term care:. If there are obstacles or difficulties with doing these tasks alone, there is help.

Other sources of help include technological devices that can provide assistance or even various community services geared at helping seniors. Looking at how and where elderly parents of caring families live is critical to ensuring their well-being.

Are they living alone? Do they live close to you, other siblings, or supportive relatives? Do they prefer to stay in their home or would they be open to moving into another more supportive location or living arrangement? These are all very important things to consider and discuss seriously with your elderly parents. Independent living and aging in their own home. This is the choice of most seniors and staying independent at home may require several adjustments to the home as well as getting home support from a family caregiver or professional caregivers.

Amenities provided include gyms, clubhouse, yard maintenance, housekeeping and security in addition to transportation, laundry service, group meals and social activities. No medical support. Seniors who are still relatively independent but may need some assistance and caregiving with their daily activities such as meals, dressing, bathing, help with medication and transportation.Some forums can only be seen by registered members. I've seen a couple of mentions of folks being threatened with being reported to authorities for abandonment or neglect of an elderly parent.

I'm wondering if people who have faced that situation or even been threatened could post something about the circumstances. My therapist has warned me that this is a possibility although a remote one in my own case and I find the idea outrageous. My situation is: my mother has such severe balance and mobility problems that she's not safe alone unless she's sitting in a chair or lying in bed.

To be absolutely safe, she'd need someone to help her stand up and sit down, help her in the shower and bathroom, and bring everything she needs meals, reading materials, beverages, etc.

No lone person could provide this kind of care and frankly I'm not willing to have my entire life tied up that way.

can family members be held liable for allowing an elderly parent to live alone

My mother needs to be in assisted living, but her income won't cover it, she has no savings, and family members won't or can't contribute.

I don't understand how the legal authorities can expect family members to keep an elderly parent safe in this type of situation, but it seems they do, at least sometimes or in some places.

Last edited by wannagonorth; at AM. Reason: font too small - too hard to read. Does she have equity in her home? Have you considered applying for Medicaid?

Don't focus on what legal authorities will do to your family just yet Originally Posted by Stagemomma. Originally Posted by wannagonorth. I have considered and am still considering applying for Medicaid, but I doubt she's eligible yet based on her current functioning. And, even if she qualified, it would mean a nursing home, to which she would never agree.

Originally Posted by WellShoneMoon. I question whether your assumptions are correct. I think you need to consult a legal expert, asap. We have been told we will be charged with elder abuse by abandonment. We have been reported 3x to the police. Initially, we paid to have someone come to our mother's home on weekdays and my brother or I would be there on weekends meaning I would have to fly there.

The next time if there's another incident we will lose ability to provide her care and she will become a ward of adult protective services. They will put her in a facility. It would be a facility where she will not have a private room or private bathroom and her Medicare will cover the cost of care. She is a very private person and cannot stand others to enter her room or home. So, in our case, we have the ability to provide a situation that would be more comfortable.

can family members be held liable for allowing an elderly parent to live alone

However, if we did not have the funds -- a combination of her savings and our personal contributions -- for a private pay facility we would need to find a facility that accepts medicare. Yes, you can be charged for abandonment unless you see an elder attorney and draw up documents disavowing all ties with your parent. If I were in your situation, I would contact your state's office of aging or adult protective services.

Again, call the Office on Aging in her county. There are caregivers, home health aides, etc that are available for low income people who qualify.The adult children of elderly parents in many states could be held liable for their parents' nursing home bills as a result of the new Medicaid long-term care provisions contained in a law enacted in February The children could even be subject to criminal penalties.

The Deficit Reduction Act of includes punitive new restrictions on the ability of the elderly to transfer assets before qualifying for Medicaid coverage of nursing home care. Essentially, the law attempts to save the Medicaid program money by shifting more of the cost of long-term care to families and nursing homes.

Can we legally leave her home alone? (Long, but we need answers)

One of the major ways it does this is by changing the start of the penalty period for transferred assets from the date of transfer, to the date when the individual would qualify for Medicaid coverage of nursing home care if not for the transfer. In other words, the penalty period does not begin until the nursing home resident is out of funds, meaning there is no money to pay the nursing home for however long the penalty period lasts.

With enactment of the law, advocates for the elderly predict that nursing homes will likely be flooded with residents who need care but have no way to pay for it. In states that have so-called "filial responsibility laws," the nursing homes may seek reimbursement from the residents' children.

For example ,Pennsylvania recently re-enacted its law making children liable for the financial support of their indigent parents. Jeffrey A. An elderly Pennsylvania husband and wife are being asked to pay their deceased adult son's medical bills under a law making f A federal court in Indiana has ruled that a nursing home cannot honor patients' requests for caregivers based on race.

Need more information? Subscribe to Elder Law Updates. Find local attorneys. Elderly Couple May Be on the Hook for Adult Son's Medical Bills An elderly Pennsylvania husband and wife are being asked to pay their deceased adult son's medical bills under a law making f Read more. Nursing Home Can't Honor Resident's Request for White-Only Caregivers A federal court in Indiana has ruled that a nursing home cannot honor patients' requests for caregivers based on race.

X Need more information? How often would you like to receive Updates?


Written by

thoughts on “Can family members be held liable for allowing an elderly parent to live alone

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *