How to best help parents in a hard time
This is an issue that actually comes up at least a couple times a month, and that is that mom or dad does not want to go live with their children. And this is the scenario that we see usually in our office, and it's usually after either the mother or the father has passed away. And everybody comes in for the funeral and the kids see that their mother or their father is very sad. Interesting. I think kind of kicks in as children. We want to protect our mother and our father.
Happiness within our loved ones
We want to make sure that they're all right. They've got everything that they need and that they're happy. The reality is we have to go back to whatever city we're now living in because we have a job, we have a family, we have children, we have obligations. And it makes the children feel really bad that their mother or their father is in another city having to deal with the grief of losing their spouse. And I understand that process. It can be horrible.
The roles of the parent and child
But again, the reality is you have to look at what your mother or your father is actually doing on a daily basis in their life sometimes because that son or daughter is coming into town at a really sad time. They think that that's how their parent is going to be all the time and they need to rescue them from that situation. Sometimes it's a reaction that the children have because they feel bad and they figure that having their parent with them in their city is going to make them feel better. So it's kind of a selfish decision on the children. Sometimes that's not always the case, but a lot of times what we see is that it helps the children feel better so they yank their mother or their father out of the city that they've lived their entire life and take them to a location where they visited. Right. They come and visit you all the time. But it's not a place where they ever necessarily wanted to live.
Thinking of your mother or father
That's where you want to live not, where your mother or father wants to live. What I tell mothers or fathers who come into our office to discuss this with us as part of their estate plan is, well, what do you actually do on a daily basis? Because that's important if your mother is really hooked into the society where she's living and or the social scene where she's living at, then it's probably not a good idea for her to move across the state or across the country just to make you feel better and make you feel like you're doing something to help your mother or father.
The truth of our parents living situation
A lot of times what we see is mom has a very busy social schedule. She meets different friends every day of the week for lunch. On Saturdays, they go have breakfast together and coffee together, and then maybe later on during the day time, they go shopping. And then after that they have lunch. On Sundays, they all meet for church. They have church activities that they do together. And then after that, usually lunch and maybe a dinner. And then throughout the week they may have social events that they go to. They may go to plays with their friends, they may go to the movies with their friends, they may go shopping with their friends. They have a social life where they live and a social network and a support system that they enjoy. If they move back to where you live, what's going to happen? It's going to sound great. You think, Oh my gosh, I'm going to get to see my mom or my dad every single day.
The reality of your parent living with you
The reality is, you get up in the morning, probably have very little time for breakfast or coffee, and you're off to your day job and you have to work like most all Americans do, 8 hours a day. And then when you get home, you're going to be tired. You cook dinner. You may or may not get to have dinner with them, depending on what your social schedule and your work schedule is. Where you live So the reality is you may only see your mom or your dad who is actually living with you or living in your town just as much as you would see them if they had just stayed where they were.
The perspective of a parent
Now, From your mom or dad's perspective, what are they doing? They have really no connections to except for you. They don't have any social base. They have no support system in this new city where you live. And so what do they do in the daytime? Well, they probably start waking up later later. They don't have any friends. All their friends are back in their own town. So there's nobody for them to go have lunch with. There's nobody for them to go shopping with. There's nobody to do the things that they enjoy doing on a daily basis. Right. And they may absolutely. 100% love being close to you, but you really have to decide as a as the mom or the dad or as the son or the daughter, whether that is really the right decision for you to completely uproot yourself and move to another city where you really don't know anybody except your son or daughter and their family, that's huge.
I will say in some circumstances, it is the right decision because maybe mom or dad is incapacitated and cannot take care of themselves anymore. Well, then we have a completely different situation where maybe it does make sense for mom or dad to move closer to their son or daughter where they can get the care that they need on a daily basis. But again, you have to look to see what kind of support structure your mom or dad has, where they are, and really weigh the pros and cons Remember, if they still have capacity and they have a great social schedule, then this is not your decision. This is your mom or dad's decision to make. And it may be better for them to stay exactly where they are. And you as a son or daughter need to come visit them more often.
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Cortes Law Firm
5801 Broadway Extension Hwy Suite 110
Oklahoma City, OK, 73118