I just found out my mother does not have a Living Will nor a Health Care Proxy.

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Nothing. All she has is a financial POA. She is 82. She believes my brother and I can just make decisions for her. Like she did 15 years ago for her father. I don't know what to say to her to get her to see the importance of having this. Any suggestions from those who have had to deal with this sort of thing before would be appreciated. She is like pushing a rope up hill..............


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First of all, I'd tell her that you are getting your will, POA and medical directive taken care of. Make an appointment with an estate attorney and do it. You can tell her that anyone can be put in a situation where he or she can't say what kind of health care is wanted. That's 100 percent true and, whatever your age, you are not too young to get these documents drawn up. When she knows you are doing this, she may feel less afraid that she's jinxing herself by having "death" documents in place. This is irrational but common thinking.
If you do your own legal work, she may just ask to go along and get hers done, too. If not, let her know when you are done and how good it makes you feel not to worry about these details.
If that doesn't work, you may want to check with her friends and yours to see if there are people who can give her accounts about what happens if people get very sick and don't have a medical directive so that someone they trust can speak for them. Pressure from you isn't working, so it's time she heard from someone outside of the family. Good luck. I hope this works.
I understand what you are going through. My parents, age 80 and 76, have NOTHING. No living will, no living trust, no POA, no health care proxy. My dad cannot even walk or transfer without help. My mom is not in great shape herself and they live at home. They have done nothing to protect themselves at all. This aging situation did not sneak up on them. They have been in declining health and my father has had mobility issues for years, until now with a stroke and a cracked vertebrae, he cannot walk at all anymore. It will get to the point that they will have to have huge amounts of care of he will have to go to a nursing home. Which means, the nursing home will get all his money and his kids will get nothing -- even though we have been the ones caring for them.

I have no life anymore. My daughter told me that she doesn't want to spend the summer at home alone because I am caring for my parents all the time. They won't really talk about anything and when you try to bring it up, nothing happens. It is so frustrating and unfair what they have done to us. They have done nothing to prepare for their old age and my father, while almost totally immobile, has nothing wrong with his mind. I don't know if he is doing this to try to keep his assets unsafe so we can't put him in a nursing home or what. But they never offer me anything at all for helping them out, even though they have more money than they will ever need for the rest of their life. I have two kids in college and a teenager in high school. Only my husband works, and he is self employed so it is like we are trying to run four households on one salary.

It seems like my folks have just stuck their head in the sand and don't want to deal with any of it.
dwtp, thanks for your comments. I have sort of the same situation. Dad died a little over 4 years ago. I moved out of state 20 years ago. When I did for some reason Dad and Mom went to a lawyer, made a will, poa, living will, etc. Then like I said 4 years ago Dad died, so Mom is now an 82 year old widow. Two years ago I was told I wasn't on any of these papers, except the will. I have only one brother. So I told Mom if brother died, she wouldn't have anyone to pay her bills, etc should she not be able to. Come to find out, she had never signed her POA, living will, nothing. Off she went to get her POA notarized and left me off. So at this moment, she has a POA with just my brother, no livining will (she told me she had one for 20 years, well she does it just isn't signed or notarized????), not sure if her will is valid or even done right.

I think some of these old people can't give up power and others are just too stingy, think someone will take something. That is my mother.

I feel sorry for you. I have three girls in college at one time (two were twins). Mom and dad just kept their distance. I never asked for anything from them but mom made up a story that i had. Who knows what goes on in their crazy heads. If we had been this irresponsible as young people, what would they have done? Makes you wonder.
madge, as you know my mother is narcissistic too and needs control. She resisted assigning financial POA well into her 90s. She did have a will, and here in Canada, as long as it is signed and dated, I believe her written wishes are enough. She changed it several times, including writing me out, lol, at one point. She does have a medical directive, NR in place. What she resisted was the financial POA. Her financial advisor was very concerned about this and he encouraged, even pressured her, to appoint a POA. She does have a lawyer she trusts which, in her case, was essential, as she had gotten more paranoid. I am her person of choice for POA, as she knows my sister wants money and is somewhat ruthless, and I was not pressuring her, though I was advising her it was a move to protect her if she should become not capable of handling her finances herself. One of the things that swayed her was that my response to her snarky "What makes you think that you can handle my finances better than I can" (???) which was . "Mother. I have no interest in taking over your finances, unless absolutely necessary. I have enough to deal with in my own life, and you are doing a fine job. The POA would be there as protection for you should you have, for example, a stroke:, In discussion with her lawyer, we found out that the banks prefer to deal with one person, so If I had POA either mother would continue to do it all, as long as she could, or if I started, I would have to do it all. She is coming up 100 and looks after her own finances. i encouraged her to have, as much as possible, regular bills paid directly out of her bank account. She uses a charge card and pays off what is owing at the end of the month - she hates paying interest. She says I am the only one who has never pressured her regarding handing over control of her finances, and truly, I don't want that job, but will do it if necessary. My sister is the back up, but she doesn't want any work, just benefit. Mother too thought that we could make decisions for her, as she did for my father. We had to point out to her that was no longer the case, and paperwork needed to be in place. I have had to ignore the barbs that came out during this process. I an executor as well, and after going to the lawyers office to sign papers with her, suddenly mother turned to the lawyer and said "Who watches to see if she (meaning me) in honest," Both the lawyer and I were dumbfounded, and I felt like walking out, but got past it. I guess what I am saying is stay objective with her, talk to her or write out and give to her scenarios with the consequences of no directives, prepare that she will slam you somewhere along the process, be paranoid etc, just stand your ground and be cool and sensible, and pray! Good luck.

dwt - ((((((hugs)))) I know it feels like you are between a rock and a hard place, but in fact you are not. As long as you continue, your parents will take up your life, your energy your resources. The only one who can change this is you. Please contact the aging resources, a social worker, who ever is in your area, and ask for an assessment and help in drawing up a plan for your parent's care, which is fairer to you and your family. No way should you be paying for anything for them, especially as they have resources. You are not obliged to do what you are doing. I think there is a degree of denial in seniors who want to hang on to everything, and who refuse to make adjustments necessary for their health. Enabling that is not good for anyone. I know I am being very direct here, but your situation is not going to get better, it will get worse as they decline. Your daughter needs you, but you are not available, your husband is working to support everyone, including your parents who have their own resources. Is that fair to him or to your daughter, or to yourself. You need your own life back, and I encourage you to take steps to get it back. You can do it ((((((hugs))))) Joan
Both Crol and Emjo are very wise-I would listen to them-my mother told me she did not have a DNR but in fact does and one time when she was in the hospital she let a doc talk her into signing another and my sister had to straighten thigs out. My MIL threw away all her important papers like birth cert. I think it was her way to avoid going into a nursing home but it did not work-she ended up their anyway-most elders are very selfish and think they are entilted to do as they want and be a mean as they can be. Dwdp you may just have to tell your parents they are not being fair to you and your family and they need to start taking responsibility for their affairs. Set some boundaries so your whole life is not consumed by them-it is not fair to your daughter never to be available to her.
Hi Emjo, glad you responded to my post. I know your story and I am sure you know mine by now. An ongoing saga. I was better with Mom but just had a phone call that was not good. I think I will have to disassociate completely with Mom.

Getting her to make the proper POAs and Living wills, etc. are just the tip of the iceberg with her. My brother is like my father in some ways. Verbally snarky when he feels like it. No boundaries as to how to talk to you.

I mentioned to my Mom how my brother is somewhat like dad in the way he talks "down" to me and snaps at me when he doesn't want to be bothered. Just like Dad.

My Dad was verbally abusive to us, especially me. Mom loved to sit and talk about all the carzy crap he did. Especially to her. She never took responsibility for what he did to me. Just her.

Today I mentioned how my husband was told before we married what a nasty guy my dad was. My friends told him all of this. Mom wanted to know how they knew. I told them, I said, they were my friends. She turned on me asking just what he ever did, and he wasn't so bad. She didn't want me talking about her husband like that. Now you have to realize she talked about his bad behavior my ENTIRE life. But only how it affected her.

When I told her to please not take up for him (and this was the first time ever), because she knew what he was like, she told me, "all I really want you to do is have a happy life and call me and TRY and cheer me up." I told her it was not my job to make her happy.

I have forgiven her about many lies, stories and insults. I have forgiven her over slights and favoritism toward my brother. But this is just too much.
My aunt said to us when we started visiting her regurly what a great husband my uncle was I almost fell off my chair and wanted to say were you married also to some one else and my Mom also has memories that I never saw-my sister says they are rewriting history-I think a lot of elders do that-my husband did that with his grandfather and he was not that old at the time-I do not know if they really do not remember how things were or tell it like they wished it had been.
((((((madge)))) it is an ongoing saga. Disassociation maybe your best route, I have broken contact for extended periods of time. Sounds like your brother is narcissistic too. It is NOT your job to make her happy, yet she will continue to see it that way because of the narcissism. Dear one, do what you have to do to protect yourself. What I have observed with my mother, that whether or not I am involved with her life, really makes no great difference to her, other than as grist for her mill - another person to ask things of, to spew her anger at over the latest perceived insult etc. I suppose there are some real feelings for me in there somewhere, but they take back seat to her narcissism and BPD. Truly, I don't think she would be greatly upset if I cut contact altogether, other than she would not have me as someone to rely on for certain things, It is not easy, nor nice to face this about a parent, but I find it is better for me to accept the truth, so then I can deal with it. ((((((hugs))))))
austin and madge - mother used to call my father down all the time - daily - and yet since he is gone, no complaints, and very selective memories. I think it is what serves her purposes, not that she has forgotten.
Emjo, I just realized today is my mother and father's anniversary. I guess she was feeling a little sad over that. She hated him when he was alive but now he was "her old goat" she likes to say. But emjo I think you are exactly right about how they behave. Everything is about them.

This is how the crazy making starts. I talked to mom last Friday. She has a small deck at the back door, my brother built it so she would not fall trying to get the back door open. She hates it, told me she wanted it removed and was going to call the shady carpenter down the street to take it out. I call my brother, since he built it, and told him she doesn't want it anymore. He flips out. Said it is going to stay and it is for her safety. And she is not calling the carpenter down the street. I asked him to just talk to her gently and remove it if it bothered her. No, he called her and got snarky with her and the deck will stay.

I asked her if she had heard from my brother and she told me the entire story. She was hurt he was rude to her (however he is rude to me often and that does't bother her). But the crazy thing is, she told me she was "just kidding" about having the deck removed and would have never called the "shady" carpenter. Then the conversation went to my brother's behavior, which I should accept, and how Dad wasn't so bad (he was horrible).

So as my dear husband always says, "no good deed goes unpunished." My husband said to me, "In the end you will some how get blamed." Damn, I am a slow learner.

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