Aging Parents :(

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by partdeux, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. partdeux

    partdeux Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  2. indy36

    indy36 New Member

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    I feel your pain. My parents are pushing 80.
     

  3. partdeux

    partdeux Well-Known Member

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    DPOA is your friend!
     
  4. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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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!
     
  5. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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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.
     
  6. VikingGuy

    VikingGuy New Member

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    that is some great advice, thanks for posting.
     
  7. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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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.
     
  8. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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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.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2013
  9. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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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.
     
  10. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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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/
     
  11. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    Lots of great advice. One specific thing I would like to add is when getting all your information like gun safe combinations together, also include user names, passwords, and pin#'s to various on-line accounts. It can save whoever has POA a lot of time if they can access accounts on-line rather than make a lot of trips.

    Also, you will encounter situations and won't really be sure what to do such has letting doctors give them medicines like Vicodin, or do you call an ambulance when they don't want you to. There are many situations in which you won't be sure what the best decision is. All you can do is make the best decision you can based on what you think that person would want, and then don't ever question those decisions later on. If you made the best decision you could based on what you think that person wanted then you have done all you can do and the rest is up to God. And remember that more often than not when you reach that point their are no good choices to be made. There's no good choice to be made in whether or not to give someone Vicodin. All you can do is try and make the best decision you can.

    Don't let others that haven't had to make such decisions make you question yourself, and don't you ever question yourself later on.
     
  12. rockratt

    rockratt Active Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I am dealing with a mom that has a form of dimenia and dad that has been forced into the roll as primary care giver and who also had a quadrupal bypass in 2008 so I feel your pain. If it wasn't for him she would be in a nursing home now. Don't forget about the care givers as well. I have picked up some good info here, but keep in mind when giving important info to someone you trust, they may have spouses especially if money is involved. It has a way of changing people. I am there POA for a number of reasons, the main one being my brothers wife is a POS!!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2013
  13. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    This weighs on my mind as my parents age, but luckily I have three older siblings to consult and parents who have been open about their preferences.


    Former/late client of this office didn't really trust banks; his widow was digging up coffee cans on the fenceline for a while, seriously.
     
  14. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    That's why when I go metal detecting I specificity go down old fence lines around old home places. There were a lot of people that didn't trust banks in the past and they either didn't pass on info like where they buried their money or they didn't have anyone to pass it on to. I'm always a little sad when I do stumble onto buried money for that reason. I can't help but to wonder what happened to the person that buried it. :(
     
  15. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    This is exactly what I think of when I hear of "only" children. They don't have any siblings to help them out when their parents age. Even if it is a sibling to consult with and bounce options and ideas off. Aging parents would be a big burden for an only child.

    My Dad signed a DNR and I will help him enforce it if and when the time comes.
     
  16. jimogden1984

    jimogden1984 New Member

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    reading this just about brought a tear to my eye. my dad is in our health with copd and while he gets around Ok most of the time he has had a few close calls where I was the one to find him and call 911. I asked both of my parents to fill out a DPOA which mom did willingly. She's been in the situation where she had to make the calls for someone and years later she wonders if she made the right choices. dad on the other hand hasn't filed it out yet. He says whatever we decide as a group is fine with him and he trusts that we'll make the right choice but Im pretty sure he just doesn't want to think about it and face reality.
     
  17. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    The problem with that is not everyone is going to agree and it's going to turn into a raging family war. Beg him to make some decisions.
     
  18. jimogden1984

    jimogden1984 New Member

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    I'm gonna talk to him about it again today while it's fresh on my mind
     
  19. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    Maybe if you explain to him that it's better he make the choices he wants for himself and not leave it up to the family in a time of great stress and emotional trauma, it would be better for all involved. Tell him many families have had unsolvable arguments in making those tough decisions and one can never be sure the family is choosing what the patient himself would have wanted. Help him fill out the papers then have him sign it. When my Father assigned me as POA, we had the social worker at the hospital come and help him fill out the papers. It took me out of the picture of asking him some very difficult questions and it also involved a third party to witness there was no coercion and the decisions were truly my Father's decisions and not mine. The social worker had done this task many times and knew exactly how to do this and she signed as a witness to my Father's decisions. I signed saying I was accepting the job of being my Father's POA and that I would be sure his wishes would be carried out. I tell my Dad over and over he is still able to make decisions for himself and at this point in time, my job is to see that my Dad's needs and wants are taken care of. As he is still of sound mind and may need me to explain things to him more clearly, it is not yet my job to make any decisions for him. That time will come when he can no longer make his own decisions but he is definitely not there yet.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2013
  20. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    Thanks for adding that. I see so many children trying to make decisions for their parents that are against their parents wishes while the parents are still able to make decisions for themselves. I can't stand to see that but it happens a lot. And I think that's perhaps the hardest thing for many elderly. They are often treated like children by their children instead of being given the respect they've more than earned. :mad: