Aging Parents :(
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Old 09-13-2013, 02:00 AM   #1
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Default Aging Parents :(

My mother had some significant health issues, but the draw of her home was greater than her ability to reason properly. She went home for a couple of months before returning to the hospital to pass away a year ago on 9/5. In retrospect, maybe I should have gone for force guardianship, but she had to live (and die) from the consequences of her decision.

Father in law recently had surgery, that might have been avoided if 1. he wasn't so effin stupid and impatient to move several bags of mulch, and 2. he had received good medical care.

Anyway, some interesting complications developed from the surgery, and he was rushed back into emergency surgery on 9/5 Talk about flooding memories...

An extremely rough weekend, and now my wife is down with sinus infection, strep throat, and who knows what else now, and I'm seeing the beginning of an issue too. BUT, he's still alive and recovering. All while we are trying to coordinate care for her mom who has developed dementia, work, handle legal and financial affairs, manage his care, plus run our own household. In 24 hours, I had FOUR round trips to the hospital, only 45 miles each way. Over the period of a week, put over 1,000 miles on my weekend car, because before this had started, had taken my DD in for repair, and couldn't get to the shop to get it out.

We're going to have to deal with their longer term care in the very near future...

Some thoughts that have come from this

  1. Vicodin is a very very very dangerous drug. I blame it for contributing to my mom's death, and led to some interesting problems with my father in law.
  2. Make sure somebody has DPOA. We got very lucky in that he has an extremely competent attorney, and during a brief period of lucidity between surgeries was able to get the legal paperwork straightened out.
  3. Know where they do their banking, and how they are managing their finances
  4. Be alert for developing financial issues, I know their electric and gas company have 3rd party notifications available.
  5. Get involved in their medical care. We waited too long, until it developed into a major issue (in both cases)
  6. Be on high alert for nefarious intent of relatives and other friends. this was a contributor to my mom passing, and for my FIL her brother decided after not even talking to his parents in months, suddenly needed to get involved. The hospital actually kicked out the nurse he brought to "evaluate" their father. We haven't heard boo from him since.
  7. Learn how to search for quality nursing homes. Nothing more fun than late one afternoon the hospital calling you and saying your mom is being discharged tomorrow morning, you need to find a home to send her to.

The immediate crisis is over, but it's still going to be a very busy couple of months.
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Old 09-13-2013, 02:29 AM   #2
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I feel your pain. My parents are pushing 80.

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Old 09-13-2013, 02:30 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by indy36 View Post
I feel your pain. My parents are pushing 80.
DPOA is your friend!
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:22 AM   #4
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Lost My mom a little over a year ago, Parkinson's and old age took their tolls, Im not sure how anyone truly prepares to watch their parents die, its even tougher when your parents dont do much to prepare themselves. Those lessons you learned are all great advice, I was challenged by all of them and sadly, knew too little too late. The things I did to help way so heavy on my mind, I saw and experienced things in the process that plague my nightmares a year and a half later and I fear they wont ever totally disappear. Add the 20,000 miles I put on in 2 years just driving to her side in hospitals and less than great nursing care facilities and I can relate to your pain.

Im just starting to remember some of the good times now, times when Mom was my rock of Gibraltar instead of me trying desperately to be hers. I hope those lessons dont disappear from my mind if and when I get to that point. I would rather die than give up my adult well earned rights. The pain I saw in her face as she lost hers one at a time was enough to make me call end of game sooner than later.

Pray the serenity Prayer Part Duex, It doesnt fix but it does help. I will pray for you and your family tonight, god bless you, your a good son!

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Old 09-13-2013, 03:23 AM   #5
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My brother, you have just done a greater service to your fellow members of the forum- and their folks- than you know.

For all of you youngsters- you will want to print that out and keep it.

For my fellow old farts- See that trusted members of the family know where to find the important stuff. I have 3 retirement accounts with a sizable balance (almost enough to buy 2 bricks of 22s) and a couple of stock accounts. If I have not shared that, along with where my will is located, someone is going to have a lot of work to do when my bucket list is finished.

And that includes the combination to the gun safes.

By trusted family member- I mean someone OTHER than your spouse. Because the two of you probably ride together, and one beer truck will take you both out of play.

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Old 09-13-2013, 04:17 AM   #6
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that is some great advice, thanks for posting.

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Old 09-13-2013, 04:38 AM   #7
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Great advice all, and C3 added the one I was going to mention. Make sure somebody knows the combo to the gun safes and where you have everything hidden. This means frigging everything. I can't tell you how often I hear about people who have found a safety deposit box key taped to the underside of a drawer from a dresser they got from their great grandmother, only to find that since she passed on 20 years ago the box is no longer accessible, or just as bad you don't know where it was located.

Now, having gotten all of that out of the way, the most important thing to remember is the aging loved one is going through the worst part of their lives in all likelihood. Don't forget to spend time sitting with them, reading to them, talking with them. Do everything and anything in your power to ease their pain. Their quality of life is the most precious thing here. Do not worry about extending their life as in most cases the elderly do not want to languish away their lives in misery.

I lost my father just a year ago on September 6th, 2012. I have lost many other loved ones as well and if the only thing I have to inherit from them is the knowledge that I made their final days or years a little more comfortable I am fine with that.

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Old 09-13-2013, 05:16 AM   #8
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My dad died two years ago after a very lengthy down slide. My mom is a healthy as a horse (went to Russia and the Baltic states this summer). WTS she has EVERYTHING in order.

I still need to tell someone the combo to my safe. If they look REAL hard, they might find it, but it has changed on its own over the years (hint - add 1 to the first number). I have it set in my will that each of my kids, my two brothers and best friend get one gun (any gun) and a case of ammo for that gun. My wife can do with the rest as she sees fit.

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Old 09-13-2013, 05:22 AM   #9
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Been there, done that with my Mom. I am now dealing with my Dad in a nursing home. It's the least we can do for our parents. My brother is my Dad's POA for financial affairs, I am my Dad's medical POA.

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Old 09-13-2013, 11:32 AM   #10
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The VA has a program to help pay for some assisted living.

But the program also has an income cap to most elderly surpass.

http://www.veteranaid.org/

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