Plans for our own care.

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Quite frankly, dealing with my parents declining physical and mental health the past five years - my fathers slow, painful death and my mothers dementia and even slower declining health has scared the bejeezus out of me in regards to my own aging. My husband has two separate heart conditions and my son who is severely disabled - is an only child. While one never knows, I think there is a good chance I will find myself alone in my old age. I am not close to my brothers or their children and while my husband has a 26 yr old daughter from a previous relationship- we literally only hear from her every few months when she needs money. I can remember when my mothers mother was put into a nursing home and had mild dementia- she was a handful and my mother once said to me "if I ever get like that, tell me". So a couple of years ago I told her and reminded her of what she said. Moms reply? "I never said that"! Here on this site I see it all the time - posters saying "I never want my children to have to take care of me" or "I'll never do to my kids what my mother/father has done to me". But how will we know? What if the dementia kicks in and we become our loved one without realizing it? So - it's got me thinking...in my position I can't do to my son what my mothers done to me - it's impossible. So what will become of me? It's got me wanting to make some plans - a safety net, of sorts. I'm sure many of you are thinking about this too, in one way or another. Has anyone actually made any plans - any concrete steps to ensure you don't end up sitting alone in a soiled Depends, with your house falling down around your ears? I would love to start preparing - but without obsessing. So a movie quote to close: "You think too much about the time you have left- You don't spend it living". ~Violet Devereaux - The Skeleton Key

28 Comments

Oh wow............ Absolutely! Obsessing, yes, since 1999. What will become of me, when I am all alone? I have no one related to me. I do have friends, but will they be "functioning" when this happens?
I think since you do have a son, you need to really make a Living Will........or the ones that know LEGALESE, please step in.
Have everything in writing put on paper for your son's sake.
That is one way to have a safety net put in place on his behalf.
The property, the valuables, your money, ... I think you need a conservator... my husband was the conservator for a lady that had no one, and he could make decisions and pay the nursing home, and all of that for her. THey were not related..............
WE will get all kinds of responses in this thread, since it does concern ALL of us...............Thank you for putting it down in writing................

Hugs to all who read and respond. Thank You!

M 8 8
Rainmom, it has been an eye opener for me.... the cost of caregivers, even part-time.... the cost of Independent Living... the cost of Assisted Living.

I have no siblings, I never had children. My closest cousins are all older then me, and here I will be 70 next month. I still work part-time, but I am not getting rich on that income.

My parents had a good nest egg as Dad got paid well in his career. I was from the era where even if a female graduated from college, the employer was more interested in how fast could she could type :P I lost promotions because of my gender, even if I was more qualified and had longer seniority. Well, the male had a family to support, I didn't. Thank goodness the younger generation there is more equity.

I've been fugal all my life, and I hope it can pull me through should I sell this house and downsize into a senior living complex.... depending on the rent, I can do it... whew. Just as long as nothing major happens health wise. Yeah right.
My wife and I are in the process of deciding who to select as our durable and medical POAs from among our two sons who are in their mid twenties. I have a big chunk of a nest egg from my mother that was given to her by her mom. My pension program is in great shape and I have some extra money in other investments. My wife's pension is small compared to mine, but she stands to inherit quite a bit from her mother who is quite well off. We plan on using the nest egg to pay the premiums for a LTC policy. Also, I have given some thought to how I want my funeral to go.
Hi Rainmom and Hi Mulata. Yes, we are in a unique group. Since my husband is 19 years older than I, chances are that he will die before I do. He has 5 daughters who live across the country from us, and I am sure they would be available to make sure I am cared for. I have lived here for over 50 years, though; and, although, I have no relatives, this is "home" to me. Hubby insisted on putting everything in my name so that things would go smoothly in case of his death, but that presented me with some decisions. This is what I have done.

First, have a Revocable Living Trust. It lists everything you have and says it is yours until you are incapable of caring for yourself or die. You choose the person who will then take over everything in the trust, including your care. You leave instructions in the trust (as well as a living will directive, health care surrogate, or whatever they call it in your state) about what you want done. In my case, I am giving everything, except my jewelry (which I have promised to my best friend), to my husband, then to my best friend's husband, and you can have as many as you want on your list. I am entrusting that person with the right to sell my property(ies) and invest the money in whichever type of account/investment or to rent my property(ies) and invest the money as he sees fit or to live in one of the properties and make a choice of what to do with any other property(ies). Any profits/investments will be used for my care. (I explain in the other document exactly how I want my personal and medical care handled.) I have a clause that, if euthanasia is legal at that time, under certain medical conditions and consultation with holder of the trust, that is my wish. Then I continue with further very specific instructions. There is another document that releases your medical records to whomever you list. That is very important! The Health Care Surrogate form should take care of it, but there is another form that allows the hospital to release information to whom you list while you are hospitalized. Some of these forms seem redundant to us, but so be it! The medical facilities have to be extremely careful, so be prepared with copies of all of them.

From what I have read, a Will is not necessary if you have a Revocable Living Trust. You cover everything under the trust that you would under a will; so, a will is up to you. In my opinion, the more the better.

I also have a folder with papers from the funeral home with receipt and instructions for them upon my death.

I suggest that you look up legal forms under your state. There will be a list directed to the laws of your state, and most of the time there will be advice under "Estate" forms. Some people go to lawyers or other professionals or buy software, but it is online. Places like UPS and many others have the services of a notary. Some of the forms recommend notarization; I think it is good to have everything notarized. It takes a little time, but you get to customize things and the costs are less than going to a professional.

That's what I've done. BTW, the only worry/fear/whatever that worries me is being alone. We don't know what the future holds. We don't know how much health care insurance, car insurance, home insurance, living expenses and ? are going to be. I can almost bet they aren't going to go down! Hubby and I have prepared for the future, but who knows what the future holds? I sometimes foresee a communal home like the one on The Golden Girls. I have some friends I think I can get along well enough to do that, but I value my privacy. With my health problems, though, will I be able to do something like that? We're back to our childhoods, singing to our moms, who answer, "Que sera, que sera." As usual, they are right. What will be, will be. At least we have this website for our questions and support. I really value that!
Cmagnum, thanks for reminding me! Everyone should have a medical POA and a durable POA.
I plan to rewrite my Will and get my POAs in order when mom dies, of course she just keeps on going and going...
I really think even the best laid plans can easily go awry. Where my sis works there was a woman who retired there when it was a classy facility 30 years ago. She came from a family of considerable wealth, but she managed to outlive both the family and the money and in the end was made a ward of the public guardian and evicted to a nursing home, very sad. I'm still in my 50's, but I have a plan to move to a Senior's complex when I am 75, and I've told my mother to come and get me when I turn 80. (lol)
its impossible for any of us to see the future . i have two sons and soon to have 3 g kids . if any one of them want to come out and try to keep the " old " guy out of mischief , ill try to leave them the home and property . if they wont or cant , i will probably end up in a va facility and the state will end up with the home and property -- which sounds sensible and fair to me .
i realize that denial is front and center of most instances of mental illness but any of us who have ever been in the dementia caregiver position SHOULD be able to recognize when we are becoming difficult and unreasonable . my mother died from dementia related complications at 82 without ever knowing WTH dementia is .
i suffered a complete mental collapse on a hepc treatment once ( twice actually ) . i knew damm well my thinking and actions werent right and took myself to the va ER .
so , yea . i know ill be difficult but ill bet ill own that fact in my better moments .
Too true, who can see the future? No one. But, seeing what has and is happening to our parent(s) paints a pretty grim picture.....................

Mom's forgetfulness is getting worse. We watched a Bill Murray movie on TV just last week, "Larger than Life", about an elephant. She followed the movie ok, it is funny and entertaining.
I liked it, so I bought it. Arrived today. Watched the entire thing after lunch and Mom did not even have a clue that we had just seen it last week?!!????!?!?!??!?!?!?

I am scared stiff. I take her to the psychiatrist next week, I will tell him this.*the thing about the movie, not that I am scared stiff. Ha!

I made an appointment to see a Therapist / counselor / with my new Obama Care, it was an Act of Congress for me to get a provider in my zip codeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! Two lovely days trying to find a person in my network. Exhausting.

My shrink is good to prescribe medications. But since January, he quit "talking" to me because I take the time other GOOD insurance can pay him...........I need someone to TALK TO!!! I do value the forum immensely, so much so, that I would be CRUSHED to oblivion if it ever goes dark. And since we don't really know where we are, who we are, bla bla, privacy, bla, we will be left in the lurch, never to reconnect again.
Oh No!
I scared myself again..................ggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.......................

Help! (Beatle's song) I need somebody, Help! I need anybody..............etc. etc.......

M 8 8
I take care of my Mom ( and dad before he passed) and part time care of my Aunt.. and I know how lucky I am that they have money.. hubs and I not so much as he lost his job 2 years ago and it was easier to have him stay home to help with the ladies. They are both pretty bright still... But I joke I live in my retirement.... I got my house dirt cheap, and I hope to make a pretty profit on it ( or I pray I do).. but I still have a mortgage at age 58. And trying to convice G to sell and downsize is gonna be a chore. So yes I worry, and I don't want my daughter to be "stuck" with us.. although she says she's fine with taking over our situation.. Easy to say at 28!! So
OPPS! so we have my retirement, and SS and some insurance to help out.. but I don't expect to be "living large" like my parents did!

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