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Wed, June 16

When should adult children step in to help with their parents' lives?

It's tricky for an adult child to know when they should step in and help their parents live their lives. (Adobe Images)

It's tricky for an adult child to know when they should step in and help their parents live their lives. (Adobe Images)

One of my Facebook friends mentioned to me that his adult daughters were often times critical of personal decisions he was making, whether it was of a financial nature or just about things he would like to do.

At what point do our children become our parents? Obviously, if you are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, you would expect them to step in. But what do you do when you are still independent and living alone? We all know the elderly are most often the ones who people try to scam.

Sometimes, it is people they know who are taking advantage of their kindness. We also know our kids (adults) only want the best for us. But there is often a fine line between "keeping an eye on you" and interfering in your life a bit too much.

As we age, we can sometimes become a lot more stubborn. When you have been taking care of yourself for your whole life, it is very hard to accept you may need help.

One example of this would be those who absolutely refuse to give up a driver’s license even though their children may insist it has become dangerous for them to drive.

Their finances can often become another issue. Maybe they think you are being too generous to people THEY do not think are worthy of your generosity. A lot of seniors are more likely to trust in people, in general.

That is one reason why the scammers go after us. Is it necessary to seek the approval of your kids when you chose to become friends or even begin a relationship? It seems that if you are a widow, widower, or divorced, you must need looking after by your kids. I have not experienced this with my own children.

I have been taking care of myself for all of my adult life, and I can still manage. But wait, isn't that what we all say? Just where do we draw the line when it comes to our children's approval? We will always be a family, no matter how old our kids are and knowing when to butt out may be a touchy situation.

As we age, our children are aging as well. They are fully aware that someday you may need them to help you in various ways. Trying to figure out just when it is time to "get involved" isn't always easy. I think all children really do want their parents to make their own decisions and be independent for as long as possible.

I don't think anyone looks forward to their parents getting old. It is a fact of life if our parents are lucky enough to reach a ripe old age.

I think it is a good idea to keep an eye on us old folks. Just to make sure we ARE taking care of ourselves. When is it time to step in and take over?

Now there's a tough question, and I have no answer.

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