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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

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My dad has a revokable trust, but that's a problem. He's in and out of his right mind and is gambling and there is no way, other then going for guardianship to get him to stop. He is not in his right mind when it comes to gambling, but enough in his right mind that there's no way to "take" over, for as Chan says, it's a Revokable Trust, his until he's no longer able to do it. And you have to prove he's no longer able. Most of us say we won't do what we see parents doing to their kids when we're older, and even take steps to hopefully help (Revokable trust) but when it comes right down to it, there's every chance we will do just what other's are doing in here.

One thing we're going to do is sell our larger house in the next couple years and build a much smaller safer home and make sure our only child has signed copies of POAs and our Wills and she is beneficiary on everything. We're also building as large a savings account as we can so we will be able to pay a caregiver for in-home care for as long as we can. If we should eventually need to go into assisted living or a NH, then our home can be sold to pay for it, as well as our savings, until it's gone, then Medicaid can kick in. We don't want to cost our children their lives, or their money...and this is the best way we see to do it.
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Uuuggg, I reviewed this thread again, and scared myself again! Sucker for punishment, hahaha!

M
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I just hope to god I can somehow outlive my parents! I'm beginning to wonder. It seems as though the less cognitive they become the more healthy they get. What fresh hell is this.........
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The only way I would live to be 100 if I am like that lady in the commercial about "planning well" financially so you can live to be 185.
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Oh dear god I don't want to live to a 100....
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It's so true - not knowing what could happen by tomorrow. I think we've all probably heard about the athlete who drop dead on the playing field or the guy who ran five miles a day having a stroke or heart attack. But it just makes sense to me that you'd be better off planning as if you might make it to 100.
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One thing I have learned through this process is that age doesn't mean squat when it comes to who will pass first. I have heard of grown children who were their parent's caregivers pass away leaving their elderly parents to fend for themselves. Between 30%-40% of caregivers pass away first. I know, scary thought, not good odds. For awhile I thought my 90+ year old parents would outlive me :P

My parents Wills and POA's were older than dirt and trying to convince them to update said documents fell on deaf ears, literally. It took a crises of Dad falling and ending up in the ER without my Mom by his side, and for me to tell Dad I can't make any decisions for him as Mom is his POA. Mom didn't come to the ER because she was then legally blind and her hearing was pretty bad so she didn't want to come, hello she was 97 at the time. That convinced my parents to make the updates. Whew, thank goodness my parents did, as a few months later Mom had a fall that put her into long-term-care where she passed. My parents were still each other's POA but I was second in line.

After Mom's passing, I told Dad he needs to revise his Will and POA, and do the paperwork for the Trust, otherwise the State could grab a lot of his estate in taxes. Good timing on that, as a couple months later Dad's memory started to take a turn... if I had waited, the attorney might have said Dad couldn't sign any more legal documents.

I tell ya, the logistics can be mind-blogging at times :P
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Rainmom and others, I think you can see the silver lining in living and still be realistic about preparing for death. After all, it is a part of life. I have been called a Pollyanna because of my outward cheerfulness; but, if you read my earlier post under this thread, I learned from my parents' illnesses and care that I want to be in control of what happens to me when I am no longer able to make decisions for myself. I sometimes wonder what would have happened to my mom if I had not been here to make sure she was properly cared for. As Mulata says, I scare myself! Since I don't have children, I want to live happily and as healthy as possibe for as long as I can, then I want to go to Plan B, so to speak.
Captain, as a vet, you have earned whatever care you get from the VA. I thank you for your service. Instead of leaving your home and land to the state, if your boys don't want them, you might think of a charity. If there is any money left after I am gone, I am leaving most of it to the person who ends up caring for me and the rest to the fraternal organization I have supported most of my life. As you pointed out, none of us knows what is really going to happen, but at least we can state our wishes.
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I have a annoying habit of finding a silver lining in just about any situation - I suspect it's some type of coping mechanism. But I gotta say, Nojoy- I never thought of that one. Seriously- thank you!
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I'm also very thankful that I had the opportunity to care for my folks. Dad has passed away and Mom is now in a Memory Care Center. If I hadn't cared for them, I'm sure I would have remained totally and blissfully ignorant of all that was involved with getting old. I would never have prepared myself and family for this inevitable event. I look at friends who haven't gone through the experience of caring for elders and they are blissfully ignorant. The thought of getting old only briefly, if at all crosses their mind. Oh, how surprised they will be! Thank you Mom and Dad.
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I agree with you, Nojoy3. My suffered horrifically because of treatments that extended his life - but he had absolutely NO quality of life. I still have nightmares of his suffering. I've been caring for my mother after his expiration. She's been in a very slow steady decline since his passing. She has no quality of life. Mom is only comfort care. No treatment for pneumonia. No treatment for this or that. She's just been suffering for way too long. She's homebound and has no quality of life. But I believe she's still here with me because I have unfinished business and whenever I complete this, then it's be time for her to return home to be with Dad. I'm very thankful I had the opportunity to care for my parents (I'm an only child with no other relatives in the country) at a time that I can plan ahead for my care in my elder years. Money is financial freedom. Before my parents became ill, I wanted to own a Mercedes sedan. Now I want the Mercedes - of medical equipment - but drive a Toyota! :-) I'm hauling butt in my work and investing smartly so that I can afford whatever medical treatment/equipment/residence I want if insurance denies it. For example, I want a nice hospital bed in my bedroom, not the crappy squeaky one Medicare pays for. My parents grew up in a refugee camp overseas, so they were always very frugal in their standard of living after the settled in America. I'm very fortunate to have learned at a young age the importance of stretching and saving that buck for a rainy day.
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Like many of you I have done all the paperwork. I have also made it very clear to my family that when I can no longer live on my own, it is time for me to be placed in an appropriate care facility. At that time all medications are to be stopped except for pain medications. No flu shots, no pneumonia shots, no meds. My life is not to be prolonged by modern medicine.
Comfort care is all I ask for.
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One additional thing that I am going to do is let my sons know where all of my user names and passwords are for my various credit cards, accounts, investments, auto-payment of bills, and access to my and my wife's Facebook account so that they can take that down after we die.
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Good topic. My wife and I have no kids or relatives close by. We've done all the paper work, wills, end of life stuff etc. But I still wonder what will happen when we lose our executive reasoning skills. Hopefully our niece and nephew POAs will do right by us.

I love what Rainmom said about wishing she had bought a better cut of meat. My folks have huge checking and savings accounts but live like starving refugees. Nasty old furniture and carpet, tv with a big black bar on the screen, "Oh we don't mind". Mom won't use a prescription lotion as she should because there's a $20 copay. I finally forced them to replace their 1980s era cordless phone. A new one cost $39 and that was a major battle.

I've decided to not be like that. I want to use what money we have for us now and later. I love my nephews but I'm not going to live in a cave so they will get a nice nest egg when I die. We are also thinking about moving to a more elder friendly house with no stairs. We're mid 60s, so that's a ways off but we're planning ahead.
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Rainmom, I had to laugh! My hubs last night said/hinted he remembered when we used a shampoo other that VO5...LOL
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Pam - I know what you mean about no "living large". My parents were both teachers, but through very frugal living - and I mean FRUGAL, and some very smart investing, they were able to put aside a hefty chunk of change for their retirement. And one thing I've learned through all of this is - money means choices. So now I walk a line between turning my shampoo bottles upside down to get every last drop and "if I die tomorrow, I don't want to die thinking - I wish I had bought a better cut of meat". Know what I mean?
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I accidentally picked up a free "newspaper", local 6 page paper for seniors. Well, same thing we're talking about, and I will write here the name of an article, and the author. Google it, please!!! I respect the rules of the forum, or I could paste the link. "Long term care,
What do people really know and think about it". Laura Troyani, Founder and CEO.
This little paper is so well written. Includes an article about skylights and a well lit space, no glare, for the elderly. Sounds very practical, and natural light alleviates some depression symptoms.
I would have never thought
that such good and useful information
could be picked up, free, at the grocery store.

M 8 8
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Captain- I can only hope so, that I can see for myself when I begin to falter mentally. I'm pretty sure my mom didnt - she couldn't change her own depends without getting poo on herself from head to toe, but kept insisting she would be just fine living in an apartment by herself. But I gotta believe this hellish experience has been so seared on my brain it would be impossible for me to miss the signs! Char - wow, you're really ahead of the game, I've taken notes from your reply for options for me to consider. And Mulatta - you are so right about me getting things in writting for my sons sake. I've got a plan in place to slowly transitioning him into group home living, hopefully a long time off but just before my mind starts to slip. Letting go of him will be the most heartbreaking thing I'll ever do but I can't risk not being able to care for him as he deserves or worst yet - the state stepping in and removing him without any say so from me. Sometimes late at night when I can't sleep I'll start to think about it, his future without me and mine without him - I swear it's enough to send me into a panick attack. Which is why I think it's so important to start making some concrete plans now.
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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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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
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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
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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 .
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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)
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Cmagnum, thanks for reminding me! Everyone should have a medical POA and a durable POA.
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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!
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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.
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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.
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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
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