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Any suggestions on getting my mom, who lives with me to talk about her future. She acts like she is just waiting to die, while at 73 she is in very good health, and her mental state is good too. When I bring up wills, or funeral preparations, she shrugs it off and says it doesn't matter. She is borderline depressed, but refuses any care other than to get BP meds. She has gambled (slots) all her money and is a very non-confrontational person. I need to keep the peace since she lives in our basement, but worry that in the long run, she is putting a huge burden on me that could be avoided.

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It is so comforting when it is in writing you do not have to second quess your decesions at a very difficult time I was so glad that I knew what he wanted so there was no guilt involved afterwards and also Pts. who have a definate DNR get just as good care and often nurses will spend more time with them so less die alone and it is usually very peaceful as oposed to bringing in machines and crash carts and many staff members.
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Sad to say, but everything should be in writing. And it must be on view if the time comes. We had dad's wishes taped to the wall, out of his sight, but so that everyone else could see it and be aware. Hospice knew his living will would be honored. His passing was peaceful and on his own terms. Miss him more every day!
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Sanderk1 When a friend of my Moms died she said she would not want anything done to keep her alive and I told her she had to have it in writing-she said well your sister would do everything so I feel that is her decision she would leave it up to my sister so I did not persue the talk anymore.
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Why be confrontational? Why not just be loving and at ease with her?
You'll see. Later.
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Thanks for all the helpful advice. You all have given me some great ideals and I feel much more comfortable and capable to have this talk with her.
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Hi, sanderk1
Talking about the future with aging parents is never easy, but I think better to do it sooner than later. If crisis hits, and no one has addressed the subject of what our parents want, it can be enormously stressful for everyone involved, and some of that stress can be avoided by simply planning ahead.
how to bring the subject up depends somewhat on your relationship with your mom... It often helps to bring up changes in health or living arrangements of a friend, or a neighbor and ask her what she'd like to do in a similar situation. It gets her to start thinking about the fact that this might happen.., and also tell her that u are not telling her what to do, u just want to know how can you and her work together to make sure her wishes are met.
Another way to broach the subject is to make the conversation about you. You can tell her that u don't have a health care or a will and thinking about getting it...
Hope everything works out for you
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I talked about a "Friend" who was put in a terrible situation by her mom who did not want to talk about the future. I told her all the things that went wrong. We now have a trust with everything spelled out. She listened because it was not about her!! But she learned through the mistakes of others.
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I can't speak for anyone else, since all of our situations are different, but as for my mom, she was married at 16, and once my dad passed, she had a boy friend within 3 months. She also had one of the grandsons living with her at all times. SHe does not like to live alone. When you boyfriend's health started failing, and my 50 year old alcholic brother moved in with her, and she had lost most, if not all of her money gambling, she decided it was time to move in. So, for my mom part of it is the security of having someone else make all the decisions, as she has had all her life.
As for driving, she stoped when she moved in with me, and I was grateful. Her driving was dangerous. I wish she were able to drive, it would open her world back up, but she just gets "scattered" easily, and does not see well, because she is too vain to wear her glasses.
People age at a different rate. To say being in your 70s isn't old, is not fair. Lifestyle, history, diet, health and disease all take a toll on people and some are just blessed to live longer than others.
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Just because a person is able to sign a will and drive a vehicle, doesn't mean that he or she should be still driving, is one of many examples I can think of responsive to your question. There is no formula and no blanket statement, at least for me. Individual circumstances vary, as do family relationship and life. Matters not to me what, why, or the timing of any person choosing to become a caregiver, nor what may drive any mature adult into such a dependent relationship. I do believe that most reasonable individuals who are able to live and be entirely independent will always choose independence over having caregivers.
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Dear NiK,
Amen!
~Sooz~
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There is a thread of similarity running through all or most of these comments. It is this: Most of the patients, parents, or cared-for persons discussed here are in the 71-78 year old age group. Has everyone noticed this? My question is: Do you ever observe others in that same age group, out on the street, in restaurants, on TV or in the neighborhood homes in that same age group who seem to be able to take care of themselves, who are not disabled, independent, care-free, not in need of assitance, not demented, not under the care of someone like one of you, or simply a private citizen, possibly still employed or living a happy healthy lifestyle? Now why is this so? Why?
What enables one to live well in her own home, cooking, cleaning, washing, watching TV, walking, while others of the same age, living in a basement, at the mercy of a child to take care of them? It couldn't be just the vitamins, the medicines, the DNA, the money in their bank accounts. It has to be something MORE.

I would like to hear comments about this subject. Don't tell me that 71- 78 is "old". It is not. Most of these people are perfectly capable of writing their own will, with legal assistance, signing their own documents if they wish, and minding their own finances. When they can no longer, feed themselves, bathe, dress themselves, walk or go potty without assistance, then it is time for us to step up and take over their care, but not until then.
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That is a great plan, sanderk1! Best wishes for a positive outcome. It is very hard. Nothing better than taking the bull by the horns, though; one can still be gentle in that approach if one so chooses and thinks it through as you and your husband are doing. God bless you!
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Thank you to everyone that has left me comments on this topic. I really appreciate your insight and the fact that others are in similar situations, and care enough to take the time to reply.
My husband and I are going to plan a talk with her, in the near future, and I will try to get my siblings to participate. I am going to gather information for her to look at, with costs for funeral pre-arrangement, and living will, power of attorney, etc.
I hope everything goes well, but at least, it will be out in the open and hopefully we can deal with it and then get it behind us. Blessings to all of you and thank you.
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I have a similar situation with a mother (age 74)that won't accept the dementia as a disease and blames it on other conditions, Bells Palsy, or all the medication she is taking. She now has a driver's license suspended and is looking to find the culprit who turned her in but thankfully isn't driving. I contacted a Adult Protection Services in my state to make certain her friend she is now living with is offering enough care. I was told she was happy and appeared healthy and to only contact mom on her own terms. It is hard when she doesn't want her daughters to help, can't understand the disease, and is stubborn about giving any power of attorney over.I share your pain and hope you are able to bring her out of her gloom. God Bless
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I think it is important to talk about it-my husband did not think he would die at 71 and if it were not for the medicaide paperwork I had started and we had to discuss funerals and such I would have been left second guessing every decision I made but since we had talked about it and he had a health care proxy it was a lot easier when things went downhill very quickly. Tell her is has to be done now and then she can forget about it otherwise her wishes will not nessecarily be carried out as she wishes and if she refuses talk to your siblings about it if they will not get involved then when something happens it will be all on your shoulders she should at least pre-pay for her funeral it is not fair to put all of that on you to deal with it is hard enough when you know their wishes plus it is very expensive in our state it cost between 8000.00 dollars and 14000.00 dollars, She must at least get social security she could use to put towards the expense.
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sanderk1, in order to tread more lightly rather than go full speed ahead, maybe try spending time 2 or 3 times a week with your Mom asking her to share family stories with you, including who was born where, where they group up, whether they ever migrated, etc., allowing those chats to go where they will, including your Mom's own preferences. You know your Mom best. If forcing her to go to a place of reality right now would be too stressful for her and she is otherwise in good health, allow it to evolve, with a little facilitation on your part. I'm with sooz.
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Hi Suze and thank you for your advice. Actually when I say basement, it is actually a split level house, so she has windows and sunshine coming into her apartment. We fixed it up really nice, with a light greenish blue paint and bright white trim, so it is not gloomy at all. She has everything she would have in a regular home, except we share a kitchen. She even has her dog to keep her company. The thing is, she just has no interest in doing anything other than going to the casino. She will go along with me as I do things, but I have made countless attempts to get her involved, and to meet people and she has no interest. Every suggestion I make, is knocked down. I ask her what she would like to do and she will say, "Oh, I don't care." We've tried, BUNCO and BINGO and craft shows and flea markes, and senior center (which she says the people are too old) I have even suggested she become a volunteer to help others, but she has no interest. I am not sure if this stems from depression, or the gambling addiction.
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try to get her mood first before you discuss the future, try to open the good and the bright side why you live on earth, mix with word that is written in the bible, and explain her the things that has been done before . happy moment will help.
Rose
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She lives in the basement????? That would definitely depress me!
Get a POA for Healthcare and another POA for Finance. Get a will drawn up, read it to her, let her make changes (if she will) and then let her sign it in front of a notary public. She does not need a "Living Will" right now. Stop talking about "planning".
Get her out of the basement as often as you can. How 'bout some sunshine at the park, a movie or two, some art fairs or ballgames, concerts, picnics, magazines to read.
Since she's 73, that means she should have friends from High School/or College. Keep in touch with them. Does she shop? Play cards/Board Games? Go to the Salon? Go to the Library? What was her major? Does she keep in touch with new information on her favorite subjects. In other words, let this woman LIVE, AND live FREE.
SHE'S ONLY 73.
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73 is very young as my mom is 88. Take her places for enjoyment - does she like to travel? She needs to be involved in something to make her feel needed - maybe volunteering somewhere? Best of luck to you both.
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Hi Sanderk, I am coming from a completely different angel. My thoughts are: Do NOT talk about wills, funerals ect. Good grief, she's in good health, only 73 and maybe a little sad. These financial matters can definitely wait for a happier day. I'm thinking that living in a basement may not be giving her the light and social activities she needs. She should have windows and music and people and air and things to do and to take care of. I think that is what you should be focusing on. Please try to work on these areas quickly with an enthusiastic smile. Save the doom and gloom for another year. Good luck, and smile! Sooz
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Thanks so much for the advice everyone. I see that my only option is to force her to talk about this. I know that is is hard on me to, so that may be why I haven't done it yet. I too, do not like confrontation (like mother, like daughter). Yes, I am the primary care giver, and both siblings are out of state. I called her doc. about the depression, but they would not even talk to me, but kept quoting the dang hippa stuff about her records being confidential, even though I assured them I wasn't trying to get information, I was asking for them to check her for depression and beginning stages of alzheimer's/ dementia. It really is a very frustratuing position to be put in. But, I will do it. Thanks again. and God Bless you all.
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In our state we have a council for the aging. A friend took her parents to the council and someone there went over what they needed to do to plan for future events -- power of attorney, living will, etc., and helped them complete the paperwork They had been putting this off, but were hugely relieved when someone told them what to do and how to do it. Their main problem turned out to be that they just didn't know where or when to start. If your mother gambled all of her money away, she is probably carrying some guilt baggage as well. I'm assuming you are her sole caregiver, so make an appointment and since she's non-confrontational, tell her she's going and get her to a doctor. She sounds more than borderline depressed.
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I agree with everything minalisew said in there comment. It is hard to talk about the future when your mom does not want too. My mom would not do any planning ahead and we waited to long to get her papers in order . It is hard on your mom to talk about it now but will be so much harder on you if you don't get things done as soon as you can without causeing stress on your mom . The less paperwork and legal stuff you all have to worry about now the more family and fun time you can have later. And I would check with the doc. to get her out of that depression.
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There's a lot of strength in your situation, although I know you must be frustrated. Number 1 is that you are attempting to communicate about the future now, while your mom's health is not at a crisis point. That's great. Number 2 is that your mom is non-confrontational; you know her style and you'll be able to use that knowledge as you talk with her. And, number 3 is that she is still in good health, physically and mentally, although you mention "borderline depression". Perhaps her doctor could help her to understand that treatment for depression is available. Knowing those strengths, you are in a position to KEEP TALKING with her! You have planted the seeds for future communication about wills. You will also need to talk about "health care power of attorney" and "living wills" as well as financial matters in general: all touchy subjects. Coming from a position of love and concern, continue to bring up the difficult topics but also have the less emotional ones as well. Perhaps one time you could talk about how to help her stay active and/or social. Maybe there is something that she could do that would be similar to gambling without the cost. Is there a senior center nearby that offers activities that she might enjoy? Then as you are able, continue to work on some of the more difficult conversations. Good Luck!
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