My sister has had serious paralysis issues for 50 years, since a stroke at age 26, but is very intelligent and personally capable. BIL was a good man who was very successful and made a lot of money, but he was difficult and very dominant. Their two sons both have had major issues with him, are both under-achievers in their 50s, and their relationships with their mother (ie my sister) have been very difficult because of this. Both sons live 1000 kms away, but BIL and my sister have two houses (one there and one here where they grew up), and the death was here. They are both here now, but heaven only knows what happens after the funeral later this week. My sister, aged 75, will make her own decisions, and all I can do is be a sounding board and provide any information she doesn’t have. I probably know all the options, but I would be very glad to be reminded of them from personal experience of other people on the site (the upsides and the down sides, and money being basically no object), plus a little sympathy. I have known BIL since I was 12, 60 years ago, and it is hard for me too.

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Hi Margaret
Im so sorry your BIL has passed on. BILs can have a special place in our hearts. Especially ones you’ve known for most of your life. I’ve only one of four left. But the one I basically grew up with is the one I mIss the most and he also had his issues.
My husband feels the same way about the BIL who was closer to him than his own brother.
It’s wonderful your BIL provided so well for your sister.
While your BIL was ill with cancer, how did sisters household function? Was she his caretaker, he hers? Did they have help that will stop now? Are the two sons living with your sister? Do they have spouses with them?
The only universal wisdom I can pass along is it’s often a good thing for a recent widow to NOT make major decisions immediately. Hopefully her sons won’t pressure her while they are visiting. Perhaps they intend to move in with her? Would she like that?
. Each person that passes tugs us forward on our own journey. I know you are glad he is no longer suffering.
Hugs to you Margaret
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Reply to 97yroldmom

I would not base future on help from the sons. At her age and health problems, as said, I would be looking for an independent living. One with IL, an Assisted Living and LTC rolled into one. I would sell my properties and get rid of what I didn't need. I would get my will in order and POAs.
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Reply to JoAnn29

I’m sorry for your loss. I’m also glad to hear that your sister has you for support. I’ve often heard that following a loss it’s best not to make any big decisions for about six months, during your initial grief you’re too likely to make decisions that will prove bad or you’ll come to regret. Your sister should likely start looking at simplifying her life, maybe one smaller home. The family as a whole has to realize that sons in their 50’s will at some point have to be responsible for themselves and maybe it’s time for that to happen. I know in my family, our dad has rescued my brother his whole life, made him an under achieving whiner, and I’m bracing for the day dad will be gone and the rest of us will be stopping the rescuing and forcing the personal responsibility. It’s not going to be pretty. I wish your family the best as you all adjust to the changes ahead
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Reply to Daughterof1930

My condolences on the loss of your BIL. I knew my SIL from an early age and after her decades in the family her death was very similar to losing my own sister.

In the immediate future, I would recommend continuing the in home care giving support your sister and BIL must have had prior to his death while your sister considers her options including living at home with care giving support, IL with support or AL. I would recommend either IL with support or AL because of the greater socialization and easy access to additional services as needed.

Does she want to stay in her hometown or go back to where her children live? I had a relative who continued her "snowbird" lifestyle after a stroke, remaining in FL living in an AL but summering in her TN home with care giving support where most of her children and grandchildren were located for almost a decade. When she couldn't handle the travel anymore, she decided to relocate to TN and managed with some family and paid in home care giving support until her death a few years later. Paid care givers came in the morning and stayed the day helping with bathing and dressing, cooking, laundry and other light housekeeping. Family came by to help with supper and getting ready for bed; in later years rotating family members stayed overnight in a guest room.

In any case, major decisions should not be made in the immediate aftermath of a death unless absolutely necessary. Stabilize care in place and then consider the options. When resources are available, there are a lot of good options.
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Reply to TNtechie

I'm sorry for your loss Margaret. Since none of us are familiar with the Australian healthcare system and what might be available to your sister it's hard to offer advice, I imagine she needs a lot of support? My own life plan includes downsizing to an independent living apartment in my 70's, more affordable than AL yet services more easily available if needed. I think having some kind of long term support system ready in the wings is only sensible but it doesn't necessarily have to be her sons, does she have any sensible grand kids or nieces/nephews?
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Reply to cwillie

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