Everything They Don’t Tell You About Taking Care of Aging Parents

TL;DR: Get ready to fight, and don’t expect people to understand.

Adeline Dimond

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Photo by Thomas Kinto on Unsplash

In July of 2020, I took over my parents’ lives. To say it’s been tough would be an understatement. In addition to the emotional toll of having your parents suddenly become your children, all the planning in the world fails prepare you for all the unknown pitfalls in the elder-care system.

And “system” is a pretty strong word. Web? Morass? Circles of Hell? There is, in fact, no system at all; it’s just a hodge-podge of rules, regulations, shockingly high costs for above-board care, shockingly low costs for under-the-table care, with a dash of financial institutions that fail to honor perfectly executed power-of-attorney documents.

Here’s an incomplete list of what I’ve done over the last two years for my parents: put my father in an assisted living facility (which is harder than you think, it’s like getting someone into Langley); refinanced their home (because of the shockingly high cost of that facility); found homecare aids for my mother after she had a stroke, but refused to leave the family home and join my father in the assisted living facility; canceled their credit cards (I had to threaten to sue some of the credit card companies to do this); taken over all their…

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