I was my dad's POA and health care proxy when he had terminal cancer in the 90's (I was in my early 20s). Now I'm caregiving for my 90 year old mother who we suspect has dementia (test this week should confirm that). Today while driving home from work because the home health aide called to say mom seems to have a stomach bug and I'd better get home, I was thinking about these two separate instances in my life of caring for my parents. After arriving home and helping to clean up the mess in the bathroom and get mom settled into her bed, I sat down and wrote out two letters. One to my husband and one to my kids. I told them that I hope to live a long, healthy life, but if something should go catastrophically wrong at any point and I am not able to care for myself, put me in the nursing home. Don't second guess it. Don't feel bad about it. We have the insurance. JUST DO IT. Thing is, I realized today that I've had a great life. Good marriage. Awesome kids. Great career. I've traveled outside the country. I've loved and laughed. Sure there's still things I want to do. I am after all still relatively young (my 40s). But overall, I've lived a satisfying life. I'm very blessed and I don't want the people I love to ever be limited by any deficiency of my body or mind. I don't want them to go through the stress I have as a caregiver - constantly feeling torn in different directions - frustrated, tired, overwhelmed. I love my little family more than anything in the world and they deserve better than the crap I've gone through as a caregiver myself. So, find a nice place for me - someplace with a garden view and come visit me. Tell me you love me and tell me about your day. But don't take on the burden of my failing body. All this has me wondering - Do you think I should get this into some kind of legal document, something more official than just a letter signed by me? I'm really dead serious about making sure they have these directives.