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Says he wants me(only child) to decide what to do.

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Thanks everyone for advice and suggestions....I do have POA and financial matters are not the issue. I am just worried if I will have to decide about a feeding tube (he is having difficulty swallowing), respirator, other life support machines, etc. Presently, his mind is still quite sound. Jude, if his physical issues get so bad, you are right, he may be able to then tell me he is ready to sign directives.
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not to sound flippant, but I'm an only child too and my mother did the exact same thing to me. I was pushing her to tell me what she wanted in terms of a funeral (this was years ago when it was far in the future) she said it was up to me. My comment...... "how do you feel about pine?" Honesty, after you get a full POA
just do what you think is best, that is all you can do, if he wanted specific things
done or not done, he should have said so.
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It is sweet that your father trusts you enough to put his life into your hands. If you have the medical proxy you will be able to help guide decisions. Having a DNR in place does make things better during the end times. If there is a DNR, then the hospital or EMTs will not do CPR to try to resuscitate a person whose heart has stopped. CPR can be very hard on an older person, and if they do come back, there can be broken ribs and other damage. When there is no quality at the end of life and the spirit is trying to leave, forcing it back to a broken body seems so cruel to me. A DNR makes your father's will known.

One thing I have considered when it comes to my mother is whether to "enforce" the living will or not. My mother has all the advanced directives done, but they were done at a time when death was not imminent. She has a strong will to live, so I don't know how serious her advanced directives were. It is easy to sign things that aren't relevant right away. The advanced directives have a clause that the healthcare proxy cannot contest her decision to die. However, I am not going to let her die if I know it isn't what she wants, only if there is no hope. I pray for wisdom in her final days (if I am still alive and her proxy).
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The new book, Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, tells the story of having "the conversation."

One man thought it would be fine to just be able to watch football and eat ice cream, another could not stand the idea of that lack of function. They each decided on the lowest level of what they would derive satisfaction from. When something happened to the first man in surgery, his daughter was asked if the surgeon should do something that would leave him paralyzed if it did not work. She asked if he could still watch football and eat ice cream, he could, so they proceeded. Only because they had that conversation did she know the right answer and his life was saved.

My library has the book on audio and in print, so surely everyone can access it freely. It's the best book I read in the last 12 mos.
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cjbailey, that's a lot of responsibility for an only child [I am one, too] to decide what to do. But Dad has to realize that also has to be in writing otherwise the State will decide how to divide up the estate. If your Dad has any living siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins they might get a piece of the pie.

What got my Dad to move more quickly on getting a Living Will, etc. is when I said that the State could tax his estate to a point where I might only get half. He didn't work hard all his life just so that the State would get it. That perked up his ears.
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You will need to be his Power of Attorney to do this so tell him that and then start him on the right road. Once you have that sorted you might want to talk to him about friends that have died and then drop into the conversation how does he feel about x y or z. My mum wont talk about dying much but she is quite happy to criticise what others have done so I now know she wants to be cremated, she doesnt want to go into care, after a long long battle she actually quite likes having her bed in her lounge. I didnt broach a living will with my mum until one day she said she didnt want to live any more. I called in a doc to discuss it and he completed the advanced directive with her and me. We all signed it and it is now on the database - job done....not an easy one but good luck xx
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What a pleasant father you have! How about you lay put some choices for him and have him rate them in rank order of what he would like?
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