OT: Moved the thread about senior care

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\ But what a name for a band!
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LDosser wrote:

Mine was a C-3,4,5 fusion somewhere around 1961. Being an (American) football star (in my mind) sucked. Fortunately, no more horsepital visits until '05 where I had a 1' colon shortening which was also no fun at all (except it beat the alternative)!
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Ouch!
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Very true.
We did a lot of this a few years ago (about 5 - 6 ) but the needs of the hospitals and treatment centers have changed so much we still had to rework every agreement.
I have a friend of mine doing this for my folks, and he said it is important to have all docs reviewed and rewritten as needed every three to five years. Not so much wills, but in particular the ones that deal with medical issues.
If there was one thing that I regret about whole affair, it is not really pressing them hard to get their affairs in order before now. I asked them, talked to them about it, even set them up with an attorney to get it done. They would never do anything other than the most rudimentary documents, and never took care of all the ancillary docs that make life easier for all.
I kept DNRs and Medical POAs in larger red folders in their house hanging near doorways that said: FOR EMS ATTENDANTS in large letters. The EMS guys loved it.
I thought we were all on the same page of keeping the info updated and taking care of finances, etc., but one day it all stopped, and they folks were no longer interested.
I should have kept after them and done all I could to get them to take care of this stuff earlier.
And as has been pointed out, when you really need these docs, it can be too late. I am not sure what my father was waiting for, maybe some kind of signal, but even at 80 he wouldn't go and sit with the attorney to get his legal and financial affairs in order.
I thought he might be thinking he was facing death, and he assured me that wasn't it. He just wasn't going to do it, and that was that.
I should never have let up the pressure. The other side of that coin was that I never, ever, thought it would be me taking care of these matters. Never.
But due to bad attitudes, foul language, raised voices, accusations or near abuse, and a healthy dose of game playing by my folks, both sisters pulled out of the project.
For me, that doesn't make this project much different than running a construction job. And I must say, neither of my parents have seen the foul tempered, nasty disposition of a job site foreman side of my personality in person. I don't think they really like it much at all. But at this stage, all of this has proven too much for my sisters, so it all falls to me.
And every time we "come to it" all I can think about it how unnecessary doing all of this now is for both camps.
Once again, I would never have let this go if I though >> I << was going to be in charge. I would have found a way to have them do this themselves, and even though it can be depressing and ugly subject matter, all of it would be behind them, nothing more than an unpleasant memory.
Too late now, though.
I know that once I get this parent stuff behind me, I am going to work on updating all of my paperwork as well.
Robert
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wrote:

I do feel your pain, Robert. I was lucky in that my sister was receptive and (as a real estate broker-type) knowledgeable of legal issues in general. Although, she being in France, me in the US, and our parents in Holland, it was a phone relay most of the time. I also was lucky in that my parents did have the DNR-type stuff documented.
--
Best regards
Han
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wrote:

Very true stuff. My mother and father-in-law were the first to start decline. My mother suffered several minor strokes and was finally diagnosed with Alzheimer's when she was about 80. Her doctor said it might be the degenerative effects of strokes but the Alzheimer diagnoses put her in a better care mode with nursing care facilities. By the time the social folks started talking about durable power of attorney she was probably beyond the point of reasoning but they, basically, turned their heads when she signed the directives. Pretty much similar story with the father-in-law but he only lingered about a year. Mom went four years in and out of care facilities. We made sure all of the decisions were laid out and documented with the other two parents; and after watching their spouses degenerate they were very supportive....well mostly.
Getting your act together is among the best things you can do for your offspring. When things are going to hell in a hand-basket is the wrong time to have to suffer through end-of-life planning and directives. Some people seem to think that a DNR is a death sentence for a loved one. Not true. Health care workers are run by lawyers too. They will not let a person pass just because they have a DNR order. During my father-in-law's last few months, my wife had to iterated the family's DNR expectation to nursing home personnel no less than three separate occasions; and he recovered briefly from two of the episodes. Not fun for the caregiver but the point is, health workers aren't going to let someone die from a hangnail because of DNR.
Depending on state laws, nursing care financing should be thought out too. I am not a big supporter of long-term-care insurance because most people do not outlive the premium they put into a plan. My mother-in-law would have because she was in independent or nursing care for six years. My father and father-in-law a combined 1-1/2 years. My point is; before the problems start, take time to understand costs, your parents assets and how long one of them can afford to pay for nursing care. Most states allow division of assets (essentially a financial divorce); and you should have a game plan in mind regarding the $-point when you visit the SRS folks to get division started. BTW, in Kansas it took several months, and checks were being written during the process. Also, regarding long-term care insurance the insurance companies play scare games that not fully supportable (We were getting good nursing care for parents for about $30K/year, not the $60-70K cited by insurance carriers).
Again, getting your health act together can be the best things you do for your offspring or caregivers.
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wrote:

Also too true to be comfortable for us. During the fifteen or so years of doctors, hospitals, nursing facilities, lawyers, hospice, etc.; occasionally it emotionally came down to being a job. We were managing "stuff". From time-to-time we had to reset our thinker to realize we were dealing with mom or dad's welfare.
During the fifteen years we also developed a rather offbeat and irreverent sense of humor regarding the situation. I think it was a defense mechanism but it got a few odd stares from folks who haven't dealt with it yet. One one occasion my wife told my daughter "When I start acting like grandma, just shove me off of a curb in front of the bus."
Daughter wasn't amused.
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On Mon, 18 Jan 2010 23:52:28 -0800 (PST), the infamous
following:

I hear ya.

Do that now. Get yours in order and take it to your folks' house to show them that you, too, need to have them and you have done so now, before it's too late. It makes a big impression on people to see that in print because it's scary stuff, reviewing our humanity, our frailties.
--
The greatest fine art of the future will be the making
of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.
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I am going through this right now. Both of my parents are 87. My mother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer on their 60th wedding anneversary in December. She haa gone a round of chemo and 1 week later, Saturday night, went in to the hospital with complications. Not sure if she will come out again to go home. They both have will's and I talked to them about a living will as did the doctor. So far they have not made one. Basically they do not want to think about that at all but there is going to come a time that they will wish that they had.
Once they reach a certain age you have to initiate and follow through with every action for and with them it seems.
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My parents had already expressed the wish not to have their lives extended at the cost of only more suffering. My sister and I had to discuss this for my father's case when I thought the time had come. It wasn't nice, and I am still wondering at times. I am sure I/we made the right decision, but there is always that nagging doubt of what if.
--
Best regards
Han
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Han, your heart felt decision was the correct one at the time, that is all that matters. Don't dwell on the past, it does you no good.
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<snip>

I know, Leon, and I appreciate your saying so. It /WAS/ the right decision.
--
Best regards
Han
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I'm very sorry to hear that, Leon. I hope for he best outcome for her, no matter what that might be. Just no suffering....

And by then, the mole hill has become a mountain. With all the litigation going on these days, some attorneys want competency statements and for docs to be notarized in their presence after they review them with their clients. Imagine what it costs to get your attorney to spend an hour or two plus travel time to the nursing home. Ouch!

I agree. And as a special bonus, my father thinks that when you want him to do something, you are pushing him around because he is old. This includes things like reminding him to take his medicine, get ready for physical therapy, etc. He is sure that at this time in his life he is victimized and taken advantage of because of his age. He sees it everywhere.
They haven't lived this comfortably, securely, had less personal responsibility or eaten this well in YEARS. Almost every aspect of their lives is being handled now, and they still feel cheated.
After I went to a caregiver's workshop, I realized how normal this all is for seniors. Now I don't listen that much, and try to focus on keeping them organized, their bills paid, and their 10,000 doctor's appts. in order.
Why it was just the other day I told my old white haired pappy (after 30 minutes of solid bitching - my normal personal makeup only tolerates about two minutes or so then collapses) if he didn't shut up I was going to tie him in his wheelchair and roll him out into traffic.
I felt much better.
Robert
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----- Original Message -----
Newsgroups: rec.woodworking Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 1:25 AM Subject: Re: Moved the thread about senior care

I have been reminding my sisters that she is 87 and she has smoked most all her life. Decided to give'm up 3 weeks ago. I recall her scaring the living day lights out of me when I was 11 years old when she mentioned that she would rather be dead than to go blind, she was having detatching retna problems in the mid 60's and spending weeks on end in a hospital in Houston when we lived in CC TX. Then with hospital visits she was sure it was her time about 30 years ago and again 20 years ago and again about 10 years ago with a minor stroke.

Fortunately we have a family lawyer that is a very good friend. My sister and BIL worked for him for many years util recently but we stay in touch.

Fortuantely my father is still in relatively good health and gets around pretty darn well on his own considering his age. My mother OTOH has not driven a car that I know of since 1975.
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