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

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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!

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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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