Caring for our elders is a personal responsibility woven into our culture. And most do what they can to care for their loved ones. But it’s not easy watching as the people who raised you falter physically and mentally.
Sometimes the stress is just too much and can lead to really bad decisions. Of course this stress can be mitigated with a bit of planning. This is why we are always advocating for our clients to set up advanced directives and estate plans to ensure they remain in full control of their lives right up until the end.
The importance of this came to mind recently as I read about a Los Angeles man with Alzheimer’s found wandering in a town in the U.K. without identification. He was cared for in a U.K. facility while they tried to find out who he was and how he got there.
Assisted by a documentary team from BBC’s Panorama program, he was found to be an American named Roger Curry. He was purposely flown to the U.K. by his estranged son and wife and left in a parking lot. The practice is called ‘granny-dumping’ and has been linked to the high cost of geriatric care in the U.S..
Thankfully Mr. Curry is now back in the U.S. at a care facility. But his wife and son have faced no legal consequences because of their actions.
As I stated at the outset, this unfortunate scenario, whether driven by greed or desperation, can be avoided with a little preparation.
A proper estate plan will allow you to allocate assets for care scenarios in the event of a sudden illness or cognitive decline. And advanced directives can dictate what kind of care you want when you are unable to make that determination yourself.
I’m sure that your loved ones would never do that to you – but preparing for the possibilities in your life is reason enough to set out your estate plan and medical directives.