Awkward Moments

David Hachmeister

By David Hachmeister, Owner, Care & Comfort at Home for Seniors and Veterans

Whether it’s discussing money or dealing with family issues, we all like to avoid awkward moments. When more than one are combined, it’s like travelling through a toxic waste site: We travel as quickly and lightly as possible.

There is no family conversation more awkward than the one about the money to be spent on an aging parent. There are many delicate subjects that need to be considered and discussed, such as family dynamics, conflicting needs, limited funds, and the broad unknown of how long the costs will continue. Even when elderly parents have saved enough over the years to pay for the services they now require, their adult children are still in the unpleasant position of watching their inheritance melt like a popsicle in the sun.

When those put-aside funds run out, the really difficult discussions begin. Who pays now? Why? How long will this last? “How can I pay for college for my kids when mom is draining my bank account?” At this point, resentment and ill-will are the rule, not the exception. The problem is made even more complicated by our own internal discussions and personal guilt over what has happened and is yet to be.

We at Care & Comfort at Home can’t have these awkward conversations for you, but when you face this moment, we do advise you to get the counsel of someone you respect. Clergy are a great starting place.

We also recognize our own conflicts as an in-home care agency. The longer and more frequent the care, the more revenue we, as a company, make. As I am fond of saying money is the great truth detector — it applies to all of us.

The vast majority of people in our field are primarily motivated by caring for others. They are often driven by their life experiences to provide this care. In order to stay in business, we must pay attention to the bottom line, but it can’t be the entire focus. We have seen others in our field disappear because they put cash in front of care, or because they couldn’t get the numbers straight. No business, government, or family can operate at a deficit forever.

This is where your personal intuition is critical. The best plan is to be involved, recognize, and deal with the inherent conflicts, and use outside the immediate family resources to help you make prudent care decisions.

And if your decision includes us at Care & Comfort at Home — then, know that we can help. For more information on how we do that, please call 630-333-9262 in the Chicagoland area, 720-492-0080 in the Denver area, or just click HERE to contact us online via our website.