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My parents are not doing well, should I recommend a nursing home?
There’s a lot of fear when it comes to people coming and helping because they’re afraid that you’re going to put them in a nursing home and remove them from their environment. So, typically, as long as someone’s really safe, try and leave them in their own environment as long as they can.
What should I do first?
Try and analyze the situation as a whole and be able to decide what kinds of help they need. I think an important piece of this is to start out with the financial and legal matters — to say, "Where is the checkbook? Who do you bank with? Do you have a safe deposit box? Do you have insurance polices?" Those kind of questions can be tough to deal with because then your parents, for instance, will think you’re eager to inherit.
What about legal issues?
You need to make sure that legal documents are in place. Do they have financial power of an attorney? Do they have an advance directive for health care? There is help in this county through elder law and advocacy where people can have those documents prepared for them by an attorney for free.
When should my parents stop driving?
Driving is a huge issue for seniors when they’re not able to drive as well. It’s very difficult sometimes to tell them that they’re not able to drive and the doctor can help with that. The DMV can help with that.