Dr. Goschi's Blog

Senior Launching

When we use the term launching we are usually thinking about our children leaving their childhood home sometime after college.  It’s usually a sad time but also filled with hope and shiny potential.   This is not the launching of which I speak.  Rather, I’m talking about sending our elderly parents off to senior living.

I dare to say that launching our senior parents is equally as stressfull if not more.  The event can be even more painful if riddled with conflict.  If our parents didn’t make the effort to plan carefully for their retirment years then “we” their adult children are burdened with making the difficult choices.  I understand that no one wants to spend their final days fixed into a wheel chair parked in front of TV land shows.  I know that we want to believe that we will all exit as vital participants of our milieu.  However, with the very real statistic that 80% of individuals over 80 will suffer from dementia it is unrealistic to think that we will be capable of making the right choices for ourselves.  We will need our children to help make those decisions for us.

As children we are loathe to make those choices for our parents for fcar that they will never speak to us again.  It can also be financially crippling.  With our children living at home post college due to no jobs, the changing landscape for senior facilities, and having dwindling incomes it is a recipe for disaster.  So, some of us deal with the conflict by retreating from our parents.  Others, watch from a distance while waiting for some terrible event to happen.

I am never a fan of passivity.  Rather, I believe that a plan is always better and in doing so we are provided with a sense of hope and control.  I would suggest starting with your parents primary care physician.  He/she will usally give you an accurate sense of how quickly or severely your parents health is deteriorating.  Using that information as your guideline you can look for a social worker who specializes in helping families with senior parents to help lay out a plan of action.  These professionals are very good at knowing what rescources are available financially and emotionally.    Get as many family members on board as you can so that in fighting between concerned relatives doesn’t become unmanagable.

Also, take care of yourself physically and emotionally.  Therapy can help get you through the emotional turmoil and upcoming grief.  You may be suprised how much an empathic ear and supportive relationship can help.  Call Dr. Goschi today at (312)595-1787 or email at barbara@drgoschi.com.

Leave a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

(will not be published)