How to care for multiple aging relatives?

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In about 10-15 years, I may be responsible for the health and financial decisions of my mother, father, step-mother, uncle and my dad's cousin. I don't know how this would physically and emotionally be possible. For starters, I live in Seattle. My mom lives in Seattle, and I'm completely able and willing to be her caregiver. But my dad, stepmom and my dad's cousin live in Hawaii. My uncle lives in San Diego.

As you may have guessed, I'm an only child. I was raised by my mother and saw my dad just once a year. I lived in Hawaii and he lived in California. I saw my uncle about as much as my dad. As for my dad's cousin, she lived in Hawaii, so I saw her at family gatherings. My uncle and dad's cousin never married or had kids. I'm not currently close to them or my dad now. All of them are in their mid-to-late 60's.

So my uncle just signed his estate documents. I'm designated as his Power of Attorney for financial and health decisions. (No, he did not ask me first.)

I'm the back-up Power of Attorney for my dad's cousin. My dad is the primary Power of Attorney, but he is older than his cousin. I agreed to this arrangement when I was younger and didn't quite comprehend the responsibility involved.

I'm completely stressed and perplexed by this situation. I don't know how I could possibly handle the financial and health affairs of so many people, especially people whom I'm not emotionally and physically close to.

Seeking all and any advice???

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It's tough enough to do all of this when people live in your own town. I was, over the course of 20 years, the primary caregiver for seven elders. However, their needs were stretched out over time. There were a few years where I was caring for five of them. There was no choice but to enlist in-home caregivers and in some cases a local nursing home, though I was still the primary person in charge.
Try to realize that it's not likely that all of these people will need help at the same time. You'll be responsible for financial decisions, but you can't possibly provide hands-on care for them all. You'll have to designate, especially because most of them are at a distance from you. That means you'll need to look into hiring care for them when they need it, and even finding help through an estate attorney or elder law attorney for the legal matters. Try not to stress too much. You will just need to get some help.
Carol
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You can also refuse! Someone appointing you PoA without discussing it with you is a mistake on their part. It's time for you to take charge of YOUR OWN side of things. Call your uncle and say, "Ok, so I understand that you want me to be your PoA and Health Care Proxy. I'm figuring you have some expectations about how you'd like these things to be carried out, and I for one want to do whatever I do, well. So we need to discuss some stuff." Ask whatever questions you have, take good notes, establish a deeper relationship -- for example, make ongoing appointments to check in and hear from whoever wants you to do stuff. And while you're at it, keep open the possibility of turning the job down entirely, or of requiring a backup person who is local, or whatever. The scared feeling you have is like a kid who thinks s/he has to do whatever the grownups say. But you're a grownup now, and you take care of business including yourself. It's in the (other!!) grownups' interest to COLLABORATE with you. Peer to peer.
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If all of this is at least ten years into the future, you're lucky to have time to plan. As already advised, an elder law attorney should be a part of your planning. There are many good ones out there, and in the Seattle area you should have no problem finding someone. You can always decline to serve as someone's POA or trustee. The document naming you should include successor POA's, in the event that you are unable to serve. I would suggest you talk with everyone involved in these person's plans. You are only one person, and depending on their needs, you may be abe to serve multiple people concurrently, but that may not be the best plan for everyone involved. Good luck!
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Don't stress about it - as Carol stated above - these things have a way of spreading out over time. My Dad-in-law was 2000, Aunt 2004, Dad 2005 & now I have my Uncle & Mom living with us. I was fortunate as you are - I knew it was coming with my Aunt & Uncle so I had over 8 years to get to know them. I went across country to see them once/year and moved my Uncle out here 3 years ago when cross-country became too difficult with my home responsibilities. Here it is much easier to take care of book work & to be sure they are cared for. It doesn't have to be in your home. First things first, if you are accepting the POA - get together, find out what assets are, where records are kept & start doing some planning to make it go smooth for everyone. So far, in each case, my relatives have been okay with moving close simply because they had years to plan for it & I didn't rush anyone until they were in their 80's & started to recognize their own frailty. There are tons of resources out there to help you & kudo's to you for reaching out!
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I hope it is spread out for you, but there are no guarantees. Both of my parents are medically fragile, and I also have an adult sibling who is developmentally disabled, and who is also medically fragile. My dad is my mom's poa (she has alz), but when he is sick, it is difficult, because I have to be with him. I get overwhelmed trying to see that everyone is taken care of, even having outside help brings some problems. Your family must think you are capable, but only you know what you are able to handle. I certainly wouldn't want all the responsibility.
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alwayslearning had such good advice. You can always say no, because you think that you would not be able to do a good job from such a distance. Are there other family members who could take on the task of POA?

Sometimes it is difficult. I have an aunt that is not able to stand on her own. My mother is repeatedly telling her that if she loses her caregiver, she can come here and I will take care of her. I tell my mother that is not going to happen. Period. I took care of her and my father when he was alive. And now I take care of my mother, who is three hands full... well, more like 20. For her to offer my services to someone who is very disabled is just so disrespectful. I am not hers to offer. So I say no, it is not going to happen. I love my aunt, but I can't do it. It is okay to say no.
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When you do it the first time, you pretty much know and it is spread out. Don't stress, learn.
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I am curious what happens if no one steps up to be POA? Who takes care of them? Who steps in?
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StellaSnow, that's a very good question! My mother wants nothing to do with me and she is so spiteful due to her condition and not taking her medication properly, she'll allow no one a DPOA and no one else in the family wants to take guardianship of her!
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I'm with you and you have gotten some great advise. My time is coming very soon if it hasn't already started. I have 6 oldsters in the family for whom I will eventually become the primary care giver. All of these people range in age from 76-82 right now.
My Mother lives in another state but my brother, sister, and I have worked out ways that each of us can help when needed. The other 5 live here in town. Yes, there are other family members....none in town older than 27 yrs. old with young children. I don't expect help from them unless things get desperate. My husbands siblings live out of state and the one here won't be any help.
I watched/helped my Mother go through this over the coarse of 30yrs. Mine will come all at once. I did learn some things watching my Mother: Take one day at a time. Do what you can and don't stress about what you can't. Take help from what ever or who ever you can and then reciprocate that help. Do only what you are comfortable doing. Use their money to take care of them. Your family comes first. Do something just for yourself - clubs, church, friends night out. And above all realize it won't last forever even if it seems it will.
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