What will we do differently?

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What can we do now to make it easier for those who will provide care for us? We're all here because in varying degrees and situations we're all involved in care giving and have learned the good and bad of the role. I've been catching up on several days worth of posts and questions, and it led me to wondering---given our collective experiences, what are we doing or preparing for the time we will be where our parents or others we are care giving are? What can we do now to make it easier for those who will provide care for us? We've done the obvious like make a will, advanced directives, and POA's, but we all know that's just a part of it. What else can we do for when it's "us"?

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What am I doing differently, now that I've been a caregiver twice?

Not a darn thing.
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Life has been crazy busy and I'm just now reading all these posts, but love seeing great thoughts and suggestions here. Especially like the ideas of writing down wishes about what I do and don't like, favorite recipes (I cook like my mother and grandmother did, little written down) and paring down possessions so there's less to deal with. None of us is getting out of here alive, so I think it wise to plan ahead. Thanks for sharing!
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Mother worked in her salon until age 99 and mowed her own grass until age 97. I should have let her go on with her dignity long before age 104. Love does such strange things. At 103 she was still helping out with dish washing and making her own bed. I should have let her go before she became unable to live alone, but she was afraid to die and I couldn't bear to lose her.
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104 is too old if in bad health. I don't want to live out of my 80s. I do like a list of likes and dislikes. I've already told my girls if I'm in the hospital unconcious make sure I have my panties. No machines beeping. And I am warm.
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I like rarefind's story. Yes - it would be O.K. for my skeletal remains to be found 5 years after my death if nobody cares enough to come check in before I die.
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Maybe I'm in denial (Cleopatra "Queen of De-Nile) I hope that I will not live long enough to be a problem for my kids. I can't imagine myself at their mercy. Mother lived to be 104 and I cared for her for her last 5 1/2 years. She worked and lived in her own home until then- age 99. We never had to use Medicaid. She had VA aid and attendance + social security. I pray to die before any of the nightmare begins. I like the friend's long vacation mentioned by Jinx4740.
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I have also begun to pare down my possessions and organized my possessions. I read the book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" and it has really inspired me to reduce the clutter in my life. I am hoping that when it does come time for someone to dispose of my possessions, they find it a pleasurable job of handling a finite number of things that reflect what I have loved....things that others may receive value from if sold or would treasure if kept for themselves. And I also think it is also important to discard, anything that would cause emotional pain if a relative would come across it. Family caregivers have enough stress without finding a bombshell among your possessions long after you have the capacity to explain.

I also think it is nice to leave a note or poem or essay that would be comforting or uplifting to whoever disposes of your things...when my Dad died I really was comforted to find a sweet short story about a mouse he had written. I treasure the poems and stories my mom has written and we read them together now.

If you have recipes that the family loves...be sure to write them down and share them or they will be lost forever. I just realized my mom's potato salad recipe was never written down and she has now has no memory of how she made it.
The same with photos...write down who is in them on the back, if you wish the people in them to be known and remembered.
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In case I develop dementia, I always thought it would be helpful to write all the little idiosyncrasies of my own care down for whoever might be caring for me. We know our own bodies and systems the best. Also the things that make us unhappy or happy. I am fortunate to know my own mother pretty well, but I still learn some new likes and dislikes from her.

Examples: "If you don't do this, this will happen" or "If you do this, this will happen" "Never let me eat ______" "I always eat _____ after meals every day". "I tend to feel pain here, when I ________ and this is how I deal with it." "I develop _____ unless this is applied." "I despise eating ________" "Perfume makes me ill" "I love/despise (red tulips, visits with dogs, children, _____ music)" "I can't stand to (have my hair fooled with too much, wear anything around my neck, to have my nails filed, wear socks with seams, etc.)" "Please continue to send a birthday/Christmas card from me to ______".

I think it would be a good idea to give this to a family member while you are still able to make your needs known and ask them to ensure it is given to whoever will be caring for you and included in the folder with the advance directives.
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Our banks can help us, but it's also us up to us to help ourselves. I recall a time years ago I got hit with fraud through a mistake I made. The bank would've never known unless I went in and reported the incident and the situation involved. Fortunately, I was able to get most of my money back, but not all of it. Sometimes we can make mistakes when were young but learn from them. It's up to us to protect ourselves because as I learned in high school, people are always going to be there to help you, you must help yourself.
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1Rarefind: Your bank will be your first line of defense for fraud protection.
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