Hello everyone reading this,
I am the DPOA for both of my parents, in their 90's. My mother has Alzheimer's and is in one facility while my father is in hospice in a separate facility (due to his different needs). He's what they classify as a functional quadriplegic. Though he does (did) have use of his hands, he has no strength to transfer and when he's not in bed, he's in a wheelchair. Everything must be done for him and very recently he now has to be fed. His mental capacity has declined rapidly and he seems totally defeated, exhausted, in pain and wanting to "go". All the signs are there - that his time is fast approaching.
Unfortunately my parents did not make any final arrangements for their internment - at least I was not able to find any paperwork when I cleaned out their home. Neither of them remembers if they arranged anything, which means to me there are no arrangements.
Also, being my parents POA, I had to deal with my estranged (very estranged) older brother's death 2 months ago (died alone, found later) as he was not married and had no children. I'm the one in the family who is local so I have to deal with everything, even though he lived over a hundred miles from me. Now I'm trying to wrap my head around going through this again very shortly, while trying to make sense of the options and what is best for them …and myself (sorry if that sounds selfish).
I do know that my mother doesn't want to be cremated because she used to be very religious, but I have not been able to ascertain what my father's wishes are/were. When hospice alerted me that I needed to make some mortuary arrangements for him soon, he had just recently lost a lot of cognitive ability in a very short period of time. Every time I tried to talk to him about this he did not seem to be able to grasp what I was saying, nor could he hear me well.
This is frustrating and depressing but I'm trying to roll ideas/plans around in my head that will not be too difficult to make happen. My thought was to have my father cremated, have a memorial and keep his ashes to be with my mother until her life ends, when I would get a crypt for them to be interned together. I don't know how I can get through all of this any other way. My mother isn't in the best state of health so I don't think it would be too long before they would be interred together and frankly I'm just not up to doing two more complicated funerals close together. I'm trying to keep it simple and do-able.
I feel bad that I have to think about it this way, but after years of being their caregiver, POA and advocate, I'm really on the brink of total exhaustion. I've tried to relay my condition to other family members and get their opinion on this but they're not very responsive. I just want to take care of this in a way that doesn't kill me too.
I'm wondering what the legalities of this are. Am I able to make this decision for my father since both of my parents are mentally incapacitated?
Any thoughts, ideas, support is greatly appreciated. Thanks!!
P.S. I'm not sure if this is posted in the right section, so please advise if it should be someplace else. Thanks again.