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Alert, but somewhat forgetful.

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I think in some cases sons or daughters need to get power of attorney so that the parents can get the care they need. I know it may result in some difficult discussions when the parent sees monies being taken from their account in order to provide for their care, but there is often no other recourse. They want to remain active and in their homes for as long as possible, and trained companions can help them with errands and tasks they can no longer handle, especially if sons/daughters live far away. It costs money but often the seniors can well afford it for limited hours per week.
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I took my mother to Penney's to buy some sheets. She went into sticker shock. I had all I could do to talk her up to one level above basic muslin. She certainly wouldn't consider some really nice sheets. Sigh. Then she fussed about me taking her for lunch (but she did allow that). I asked her what she was saving her money for -- her old age? (She was in her late 80s.) Well, she sputtered, my funeral. Ma, that is already paid for, remember? Even a nice urn for your ashes is prepaid. Oh yeah, she remembered. Well, what if I have to go to the hospital? You have good insurance. Hmm ... she wasn't coming up with much. I said, if you are trying to save it up so we can inherit it, believe me the price of a good set of sheets would not be enough for 7 kids to even notice. We don't want your money, unless you happen to win the lottery, then you can pass it down!

I'm not sure that little exchange had any lasting influence, but it made me feel better.
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This is definately a generational thing. My MIL must have the first dollar she ever got. She hasn't bought herself new clothes in at least 15 years. I have bought her some new things because most of her things are worn out or too big. She has the means for AL, but the cost would send her in to orbit. The one thing she does that is kind of amusing is she comments on how we spend our money. We are frugal, but she is extreme. She has lectured me on why I don't stop the dishwasher before it hits the dry cycle (waste of electricity). The very first day she moved in, she asked me why I had bought named brand cereal when store brand is cheaper (not when it is on sale). I try to remember where she is coming from and not let it bother me. The day she realized I lhad paid for a manicure, well that was just priceless!
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If your mom lived thru the 'Depression' or was at least a witness to the worry people had about money, then she's probably a person that holds onto money pretty tightly. Maybe by just acknowledging that, and telling her that you will NEVER let her spend so much money she'd get into financial trouble, she'll cut loose the purse strings a little. Tell her you 'have her back' and will watch her bottom line.
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