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Mom has early signs of dementia, and multiple other health concerns. My sister has been a live in caregiver for around 8 years. It looks like I may need to take over and I need to make sure I cover all my bases. I want mom to live out her sunset enjoying things. I have no clue what I need to do. My kids are older now and I need to give more time to mom, I want to.

Mom is currently in a recovery facility for an injury. She wants to continue living on her own in the house she has. I want to make that happen and give her every benefit that is around to help her.

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You need a Health Care Proxy allowing you to make medical decisions when the patient no longer can.
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Isn't enough have a POA form done and a wiil?
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While your mother is still able she needs to complete advance directive which will outline the kind of care she would want in the event she becomes unable to state her wishes. A health care agent or medical power of attorney for medical decisions should also be appointed, a power of attorney for financial matters should also be appointed or a durable power of attorney which would cover both medical and financial. This is important for future needs if you mother should become unable to manage her finances. Call your local Area Agency on Aging or Bureau of Senior Services for information and assistance. They can do a legal referral if your mother qualifies so she would have access to an attorney for the durable power of attorney at little to no cost to her. Also they (AAA) would have information regarding in home services such as waiver programs or senior care that can provide services to keep your mother in her home for as long as possible. I would advise you keep a calendar with your mothers appointments so you can keep track of things, also keep a list of her medications so in an emergency all you have to do is grab the list. You can keep this list with the advance directives-depending on your mothers condition, speak with her physician during the next appointment about the advance directives and ask about a do not resuscitate order if appropriate. If she doesn't have a pre-paid burial, now may be the time to discuss this and start an irrevocable burial trust with the funeral home. If she takes several medications, I find it helpful to put them in cassettes for easier use. If she is currently active and enjoys certain activities, encourage her to continue them. Maybe she would enjoy new activities. You will be spending more time with her if you take over caregiving duties, enjoy every moment for she won't be with you forever. The AAA will also be able to give you more info and support regarding being a caregiver. Good Luck
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A DNR should come into communication BEFORE a person is incapable of making that decision on their own. My aunt was asked by her doctor a year ago if she wanted one my aunt's answer was an emphatic, "Yes!". For those of you who have loved ones with a DNR living at home, put the DNR, folded up, in the butter case in your fridg. The EMT's know to look there, I was informed. And, your elder that hides everything would never think to look there it would seem!
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Oh and BTW you probably can have nursing and aid also physical therapy for her at her home. It's included in Medicare at no charge to you. The nurse comes out and checks vitals and checks them up a couple of times a week for a month and the aid helps with showering, laundry and other personal care. The therapist will help her get her strength back. It's a wonderful service! We've had it after every hospital or ER visit.
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I have a durable power of attorney for my mother. It's a form that's available online or at an office supply. I can do anything she can do legally, including disposing of property and making legal decisions. I'm an only child with uninvolved children of my own, so nobody cares what I do. If you have any siblings that might buck you, then you might want one drawn up by an attorney. The key is that she cannot have been diagnosed with dementia when she signs it or it's not worth the paper its written on if there are any arguments from other family members or even from your mom herself. The other thing that you can do is to get a POA including medical POA. I refused to sign a DNR for my mother. She's 103 and has seemed as though she would kick the bucket a time or two a few years back. She was overdosed on morphine in the ER when she dislocated her shoulder but after a 4 day hospital stay she was back up and going. Glad that I did not have a DNR. They gave her hydration and without that she would have died.
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First you need mom to sign a Health Care Proxy (the facility will have one) naming who she wants to make medical decisions for her when she is no longer able. No lawyer is needed, she signs it and you'll need two witness' (anyone from the nursing home can witness, all they are witnessing is the signature. Next you need to talk to mom about what is called a DNR which means do not resusitate. It sounds worse than it is. All it means is that they won't use any heroic meadures, no feeding tubes and hydration etc. An RN or Doctor will explain it throughly. This to can be done without an a lawyer and will need a witness. Ask the facility they have these forms as well. The third you will need a lawyer for its a POA power of attorney, in the event that mom can no longer make sound decisions about such things as financial issues, where she should live etc. She should appoint someone now. I strongly advise you see an Elder Care Attorney to discuss the proper way to handle moms estate. If she should need long term nursing home care it is very expensive.The qualify for Medicaid they look at all finance for what they call a 5 year window. The lawyer can advise how to spend down some of moms assets so it doesn't all.go to the nursing home. My sister and I ended up paying $60,000 to the nursing home. My dad thought he had done everything correctly. In a way he did the money was there to take care of mom but I know he would have rsther that it went to his family. This is an extremely emotional, frustrating time and being prepared will make it easier on everyone. Hope this helps!
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I would speak with a hospital social worker who could point you in the right direction for the types of care available for your mom such as visiting nurses and CNAs. Your state website should have information on whether or not she qualifies for free cleaning services, etc. Also, if she will be alone, would she need a service like Lifeline. There is also taking on her financial matters as well and making sure if something happens to her that you are able to pay her bills. Taking on all the responsibility can be overwhelming and you should make sure you're up to the challenge and don't try and do it all alone. Best of Luck
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I also took my mother in after a stay in a hospital, fighting my sister's opinion that she needed to go into a nursing home. The past three years that she has spent in our home covered a range of emotions, ups and downs. Now that her status has decreased (she is falling and becoming incontinent) we are looking into assisted living. Its a HUGE responsibility to be the one in charge of everything, but also rewarding. Good for you for attempting it! All I can suggest is if she is going to be in her home and qualifies for it, get coverage for the times you are not available, i.e. CNAs, visiting nurses, etc. Remember, as good a daughter as you are, you still need time to yourself and your kids. Good luck! Nancy
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