One of the common misconceptions about the very frail and old is that they were all good, kind people. Sadly, that is not necessarily the case for every person. While you may see older individuals who look like they are enjoying spending time with their children and grandchildren, the truth is, some of these people were actually bad parents.
While some of these people may have made a major turnaround, others may continue to be difficult throughout their entire lives. However, when they are in need of help in the later stages of life, the children they once mistreated are often asked to step up to the plate to lend a hand. Even in situations where the elder hasn’t spoken to their offspring in many years, a child may still be named as the next of kin or designated as an agent on important legal documents.
So, what do those adult children do when a bad parent asks for help? Some step away, breaking ties forever, while many others stay or return to help. You are probably wondering why a person would choose to assist a person who used to neglect them. There are many different beliefs, including:
- A commitment to be a better person than the parent
- Avoiding criticism from members of the community
- the biological bonds of the parent-child relationship
- Feelings of entrapment
Whatever the reason, many children do step up and help, even in light of the history of mistreatment.
Our Legal Team Can Assist if You’re in this Position
Families with this type of background often find themselves in a quandary. Typically, the adult child has little information about the parent and has avoided researching and learning about the parent’s needs. And rightfully so.
A life care planning or elder law attorney can be particularly helpful in this kind of situation. At HKH Elder Law, we are committed to helping our elder clients seek and obtain the best care available. We can help you find ways to obtain and pay for care and provide legal guidance to reduce the possibility of an eventual legal battle among family. Our goal is to reduce the pressure on the elder and caregiver family members, especially those with this difficult history.
To learn more about this common issue, please read this article I wrote for the January 2015 issue of NAELA News.
By, April Hill
To speak to a lawyer at our firm about scheduling your free case consultation, please reach out to us today at (727) 240-2350.