I can’t imagine the drama my brother and I would be experiencing today- if- Dorothy had not had the insight to update her affairs. She had her power of attorney and all finances transferred to my brother. She updated her will. It was heartbreaking and surreal to see the strong, independent woman –our mom- sign over the authority and responsibility of herself to someone else. It’s full circle-the journey of life- we begin our existence depending on someone to take care of us- and we end the adventure the same way.
It’s hard for me to understand the families who are not on the same page- the ones that argue over every little decision. For some reason they don’t seem to understand- it’s not about them- it’s about the loved one. My brother and I talk it out all the time- sometimes we laugh, sometimes I cry. As hard as it is- we do it- we agree on what is best for mom- and what she wanted.
For your sanity and peace of mind-I suggest, (as hard as it is) to encourage your elderly loved one to update their affairs. Sometimes- the most implausible person is the most logical person for the job- who is the “good cop “? Have them take the lead- it will make your situation more peaceful.
WARNING****** This will not be easy. Be Strong! Stay the Course! And remember, It’s not about you.
I also suggest- while they are still in “sound mind” to find out their wishes are for their end of life care. We all get to die- so make it easy on those left behind- don’t leave any surprises or scavenger hunts for them to figure out. Make it easy on yourself, you are in charge- accomplish as much as you can while they are still of “sound mind”.
My suggestion would also talk to them about death- before they are too far along. Find out what their end of life wishes are. Find out how they want to die- do theywant to be on machines and medicine until their dying day? Do theyNOT WANT any life support options- of any kind? They may, like Dorothy, not wish to be fed by anyone -when she cannot feed herself or drink for herself she wants to just fade away. Do they want to be buried? Cremated? Or the new thing- put your ashes in a tree and plant it- so you continue to live on? Ask the tough questions- then accept them and honor them.
Be sure to check out the “legal” paperwork of your state- some of the things your loved one wishes- may need to be authorized.
Peace and Love,