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My daughter is trying to get a conversation started with with her father (81), my ex-husband) about his desires for future care, POA, etc. He is resistant to share anything with her, often changing the topic. This is his personality in general, though, so shouldn't be a surprise I guess. Adding to the problem is the fact thatt he lives in New York, and she is here in Florida, so all talks are via telephone not in person. My daughter is very responsible, and it's very frustrating for her to not be able to plan for the future. She is stepping up to the plate even though she already is a wife, and mother to an 11 year old daughter of her own.

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Thanks so much for your suggestions! I'm going to print and send your ideas to my daughter, and let her decide for herself what to do. Since her dad is my ex-husband, I really don't want to get too close to the situation - he would probably resist my ideas too.
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Irish, is he living alone or is anyone living with him? If the latter, there's sometimes the presumed comfort of having someone there to step in when needed, and that can be a false lull into complacency.

This is a long shot, but if he is living with someone, or if he's anticipating that you or your daughter will step in if needed, casually mention that the potential caregivers are addressing their own needs and getting their affairs in order in the event that anything happened to them. Your daughter might just casually mention that she's had her own estate plan done in case she needs help now (one never knows when an accident will occur or hospitalization be necessary) so she's thinking about potential options if she becomes incapacitated. Hopefully it will start your husband to think, but I do know that it's hard to address these topics of one's own mortality.
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I agree, face to face would be best. An alternative approach might be to talk about 'a friend' who is helping a parent but doctors won't give out info since she doesn't have the proper paperwork, . Ditto on handling bills, etc. Assuming your daughter is his only child, he may not be thinking far enough ahead to realize that doing things from afar will be impossible. Heck, I moved my Mom to an AL 8 minutes from me rather than using the one in her continuing care community. I knew the folks in that place wouldn't really visit her and I was wiling to be sure she had company evry day in Memory care. At 81 he still feels young and able to handle things. But as everyone on this site knows, things can sue go to heck quickly. It's better to be prepared (as the scouts always say!)
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My parents were very hush hush about their finances and didn't want to talk about the future... their stock phase was "we can manage".

Well, one day I had to call 911 as Dad took a very bad tumble on his driveway. I wanted Mom to come along as she was POA for my Dad [no one was listed as second]. But Mom being 97, could barely hear or see, wanted to stay home. So I followed Dad to the ER.

While in the ER when I knew Dad was feeling better and the goose egg bump on his head was just that.... I said to Dad that I can't make any decisions for him, that Mom needed to be here. That was a wake-up call for Dad. Dad said for me to make an appointment with an attorney, so I choose the one I was using who was an Elder Law attorney.

All new paperwork was done for my parents, plus a new Will and a first time Trust. My Mom was still POA but I was second in line. Same with Dad's POA, Mom was 1st, and I was second. This gave them a feeling of still being in control.

I also tried giving my Dad a 3-ring binder with questions to fill out, such as if he and Mom needed help at home, would they accept experienced Agency caregivers? Plus other similar questions. What to do with his car if he can no longer drive? What to do with the house? And other similar questions. Where would he and Mom want to be buried, as in the past he always said Iowa, thanks Dad for narrowing that down :P
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My best advice is to use the IN CASE ANYTHING EVER HAPPENS TO YOU pitch. I went through a similar situation as my dads dementia was beginning about 6 years ago. He was getting locked into....... everything is fine don't need any help.....phase.

I got poa papers, banking joint account paperwork, living wills etc all prepared. I'm also 12 hours away so I made the trip, settled in and started slowing getting him to sign all the papers.

I think it has to be discussed in person with kid gloves, and avoid any complex legal explanations. CAN YOU SIGN THIS FOR ME DAD.......IF YOU AND MOM GOT SICK I COULD TAKE CARE OF YOU BILLS. And point out he's still in charge, this is just in case, it's still your money not mine etc.

In my case it worked like a charm. I was very nervous but I stayed very calm and casual with him. It also helped that mom had already signed everything.

If I hadn't gotten it done then it would have been impossible as dads dementia worsened later on. I was very lucky. He had already wrecked the finances but I was able to get it all straightened out and have been handling it all ever since.

But I understand there are so many variables and this may not be your solution. Good luck to you and your daughter.
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