Finding Your Elderly Parent in Decline can be Quite a Shock

Coming home to find your elderly parent in decline can be a difficult and emotional experience. It can be a shock to see someone who has always been strong and independent suddenly struggling with basic tasks. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do, but there are steps you can take to help your parent and ensure they receive the care they need.

Stop and Assess the Situation

The first step is to assess the situation. Take note of your parent’s physical and mental state. Are they having difficulty walking, getting up from a chair, or performing other daily activities? Do they seem confused or disoriented? Are they experiencing any pain or discomfort? It’s important to be honest with yourself about what you’re seeing and to share your observations with your parent’s doctor.

Do you want to be prepared for decline, so it doesn’t take everyone by surprise? With a proper plan, you can prevent the “SHOCK” that can come!

Our new book is aimed at addressing the basics of this phenomenon. Too many families experience this same “SHOCK” when they are shocked by their Loved Ones’ cognitive and/or physical decline.

If you have experienced this shock, or you just want to be prepared if it happens to you, check out our new book: Navigating Mom’s Christmas Shocker!


Once you have a clear understanding of your parent’s condition, it’s time to take action. The first step is to ensure their safety. This may mean rearranging furniture or removing tripping hazards in the home. It may also mean installing handrails in the bathroom or bedroom to help your parent move around more easily.

Seek the Right Help

Next, it’s important to connect with your parent’s healthcare team. This may include their primary care physician, a geriatrician, or a specialist. Share your observations and concerns with the healthcare provider and ask for their recommendations. They may recommend medications or other treatments to manage your parent’s condition.

It’s also important to consider your parent’s emotional wellbeing. Seeing a decline in their abilities can be scary and disheartening for them. Be patient and understanding, and offer your support in any way you can. Encourage them to participate in activities they enjoy and to maintain their social connections.

Speed Planning and Finding Direction

Stay Calm and Breathe!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsure of what to do, consider reaching out to a professional caregiver or care manager. These professionals can help you navigate the healthcare system, coordinate care, and provide support and guidance.

Above all, remember that you’re not alone. Many families face the challenge of caring for aging parents, and there are resources available to help. Seek out support groups, community resources, and other caregivers who can offer advice and support. With the right care and support, your parent can continue to thrive and enjoy their golden years.

Not-so-Happy Holidays

This dilemma plays out a lot during holiday get-togethers. The kids come home for what they thought would be a short visit – then encounter an emergency situation with their parents.  In some cases, the parent had slowly declined over the past year and had reached a point where a care decision could no longer be delayed. Some decisions, however, to be made now and the kids knew that it had to be made quickly.

A Quick Decision

A quick decision was necessary because (1)  Mom or Dad’s health required immediate action; (2)  the kids had very little time to act; (3)  they couldn’t just go back home without doing something.

Many of these kids did take some action such as doing family meetings, seeking immediate medical attention for their declining parent and taking actions to make homes safer.

But they knew they needed to do more and are still struggling with the question of what to do next. It is for this reason that we wrote Mom’s Christmas Shocker. This book discusses the very situation that we discussed herein, which is how to make a difficult decision such as discussed above in a very short period of time.

To read more about Mom’s Christmas Shocker click on this link to go to the page where this book is discussed in greater detail.

Were YOU Shocked During the Holidays?

Were you shocked over the Holidays when you visited your parent and realized things are worse than you thought? You have your own life, work and responsibilities. What will you do? Let our eBook help you with your “speed planning”.

We’ve been there & we understand.

That’s why we wrote a book to help you make the best decisions for your parent as quickly as possible.

We want to be friends!

Ok. That might come off a little fast, but you can trust us. We want to help! We fully understand the stress and turmoil that you are facing as Family Caregiver – including personal experiences with burnout.

In our time as caregivers, we have amassed a wealth of knowledge that we desire to pass on. We understand the emotions involved while making necessary decisions. Likewise, we have met many professional caregivers, as well as other family members who were thrust as Family Caregiver. All caregivers have shared the same advice – Join a community! There is nothing more cleansing for our situation than knowing that we are not alone!

We have since created Caregiver Connection. Caregiver Connection is a newsletter that we write personally and send to fellow Caregivers. It is full of tips, tricks, direction and even professional advice. If you would like to sign up, click the button below.

Please Invite Someone to Our Newsletter

Being an Adult Kid who is helping mom as she is declining can be a scary, frustrating and lonely place lacking stability. You feel like you are solely responsible for solving Mom’s problems while managing yours. Some occasional input and a community you can trust would help, especially when facing burnout! This is a way that all of us can be working together as caregivers!

Many others that you may personally know are having to figure it all out by themselves. Most of them have no community. Please take a minute and do them a favor. Copy this link ~> <~ and send it to them in an email or private message. They can click on it and subscribe to our newsletter for free.

Then they can enjoy weekly tips and encouragement. They no longer have to feel so alone in their family caregiver journey. They will appreciate the favor! Thank you for thinking of them!


Nothing herein is intended to be legal advice. These are just things that we have seen various families try when struggling with this difficult issue. Each situation is unique and requires specific professional assistance to resolve. Please contact your local medical or legal advisors to seek assistance in appropriately resolving this issue for your family.

Thank You for being a Caregiver for Your Loved One – you are making a huge difference in their life!

About the Author

Doug & his wife Cindy have not only helped hundreds of families with their estate planning and elder law needs over the years, but have personal experience as caregivers and advocates for their Loved Ones as well.

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