Moving your elderly parents into a nursing home was probably one of the more difficult decisions you have ever had to make. After all, the move took your mother and father away from friends, family members and others. Even though you call frequently and visit as often as you can, your parents may be lonely.
Loneliness is a serious problem for many senior citizens. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is a link between loneliness and poor health outcomes. Moreover, loneliness may put your elderly parents at risk of undue influence.
When does influence become undue?
When drafting an estate plan, there is usually nothing inherently wrong with asking friends, relatives and others for input. The final decisions, though, should be for your parents to make. Regrettably, undue influence happens when someone leans too hard on your mother and father, causing them to make decisions they otherwise probably would not make.
Specifically, undue influence often causes individuals to make estate planning decisions that run counter to both their interests and those of their loved ones. Nevertheless, isolation may cause your parents not to realize someone is trying to take advantage of them.
How can you stop undue influence?
If your parents are too lonely, they may not recognize the warning signs of undue influence. They also may believe a new acquaintance has their legal and financial interests in mind. Either way, you can minimize their risk by addressing their loneliness.
Your parents may benefit from community activities, regular visits and even therapy. Ultimately, if you can make their loneliness go away, undue influence may take care of itself.