“For some reason, my aging parents are stonewalled about signing a healthcare power of attorney. They seem to think that one of them will always be available to take care of the other. As they age, it is becoming more and more apparent that this issue needs to be discussed, but they refuse any attempt on any family member's part to do this. I believe they view it as a means for someone to take control, thus losing their independence. What would you suggest?”

Answer:  Unfortunately, if they have capacity, you cannot force them to sign a healthcare power of attorney or take over their decision making authority.  Maybe the issue is simply not wanting to discuss it with you.

Is there a third person you can enlist to talk with them about this important elder care matter, i.e., member of the clergy or maybe a social worker or care manager?

To locate an elder care expert in your area, I would suggest that you go to www.ElderCareMatters.com/statechapters.htm

Sonya Mittelman, Attorney at Law
Bronx, NY  10461
Member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance, New York chapter

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