I’ve reached the age where I have to worry about my parents and their health. So as I navigate this stage of life, I am trying to figure out what to do and how to do it. I’ve been trying to share my hard earned knowledge with my husband so that when he starts doing this for his parents, he can learn from my mistakes and lack of knowledge. There are so many paths to navigate, and everyday I realize that something should have been done a different way.

So with this in mind, I have been thinking about a few things:

Should a person just set a date in the future where they start to give power to someone that they trust and respect? Like…at 65, should I start to give my daughter power of attorney over certain aspects of my life? Should I begin to make her my HIPAA guardian, so to speak?

Here’s my reasoning: I’ve noticed that by the time my parents needed help, it was really hard getting my sister and I added to things. We are still in the process of making sure that we can talk to all their medical professionals, and that we can help them with bills and such. It’s a lot of work.

And then I must add…while my parents are mentally capable at this point, who’s to say that I will be as I age? I watch “This is Us”. I’ve read a few memoirs of people facing this, as well as seeing parents of my friends deal with dementia. To need to unravel all the things you need to help a parent who is facing dementia is daunting…

So I’m seriously considering setting up some sort of trust where at age 65 my daughter has the ability to help out and jump in to help me out. And making my husband do the same. I don’t want her to have to worry out the pesky details- I want her to be able to concentrate on helping us and her still being able to function in her own life.

Does that make sense?

I get that some people do worry about whether or not they will be able to trust another to take care of their “stuff”. I understand that. That’s a real fear. But ever since I saw that based on a true story movie about the woman who managed to become ward of some older people and take all their money, I figure that I 150% trust my daughter more than anyone else.

Would you be willing to pick an age to have someone else have the ability to jump in and help out? Or do you just not want to cede control?

Tell me your feelings on any part of this…

Discuss.

76 thoughts on “Put it in the Calendar

  1. Setting things like this up was a priority for me just after divorce. There is no specified date in mind but each kid has a purpose for the time when things start to go south. It was all part of planning out a will and such. I feel lucky that each kid can manage an aspect although they all know and agree that they have to work together overall. I specifically set it up this way because their dad is tossing everything onto the oldest one to handle. She’ll have enough to handle with him.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I look at it as a continued work in progress. Things will change with time and so we keep the discussions open and review often, for now just verbally, but that could change as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, yes! Set it all up, even early. We have relatives set up to do those things already. We just adjust or rename every few years as things change. Most people labor under the assumption that nothing will ever change, even allowing their adult children to be dependent for far too long.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Based on my own recent similar experience with my mom, in which I had the time to do what you’re suggesting, I know how much easier it was to have all this set up, or at least have some idea how to handle it, when the time came. I hope and fully expect to do what Chel has done for my kids’ benefit and for my peace of mind, now and when my time comes. In my case, this is a lot easier now that I don’t have to include my ex in this end-of-life planning.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. That is a great idea. We also watch This is Us and it echos things in my life. My parents are in their mid 80’s and dad only worried about the state getting his meager estate, so he planned for that. Well, mom is getting very forgetful and dad has beaten cancer 2x’s. I don’t see this ending well and when I bring up power of attorney etc all he says is “the trust has it outlined how to disperse the estate.” Ah no dad you’re missing the point.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s exactly it! They don’t take into account that while they’re alive there is so much to do and take care of and help them with. I’m going to the doctor with my parents tomorrow because I think they hear what they want to hear and not what the doctor is saying

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know, my parents go to the doctor and I cringe when they tell me the “get well quick” scheme they are thinking about. They live in FLA and when a storm is coming…. OMG. I just don’t get it.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes! This is absolutely something you should do, even before 65. It really doesn’t need to take effect until you are truly not capable of making decisions. If you trust the people you are giving authority to, they will not want to assume it until necessary. I had my mom’s POA for years before I ever had to use it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I totally think it is a good idea to get the kids involved. I at least have told them where to find all the important documents and things like that. We do have a will and a trust and I’ve explained that to them as well. An advanced directive for the doctors is also a good idea, although we haven’t done that yet. I was on my mom’s bank accounts while she lived near me and then my sister was put on when she moved to live with her. It was her idea to do that but I can see how it would be hard to do if the parents weren’t ready to share that yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I disagree. 65 is way too young. My brother decided our mother needed to be in assisted living close to him. He made this decision unilaterally — despite the fact that she was living with her husband an hour and a half away. She needed some help with daily living but I suggested in home help. After seeing how that worked out, I would never trust another person to do what is in another person’s best interest. No matter how close they are and if you love them.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I think this is important but hard because it causes you to face your own mortality. Also, I remember when my husband had a medical procedure, the facility offered an array of choices for medical decisions–more than I could imagine. It was confusing and we were much younger then.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What I am about to say is a bit controversial, at the point when I feel I am unable to look after myself I shall be checking out. I have told both my husband and son this. I don’t want other people including hubby or my son to have to look after me. I have over the years watched people I know and love lose part of their lives to look after elderly relatives and now it’s our turn. I never want to put my son in this position. I have never believed in the whole ‘you bring them up so they can look after you in your old age’ thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My parents did a version of this that seems to be working @ this point. (we as kids are dealing w/ similar things you are currently w/ your mom and dad) It is called a revocable trust. Want to say they had it in place in their late 70’s, early 80’s. Dad has been in a gradual state of mental decline for a few years now. (he will turn 90 this Summer) Been surreal to watch this unfold.He had this little ditty he used to say…”Once a man, twice a child.” and here we are. I would say, go w/ what ever you in your heart feel is the best for you..such a personal decision. Since I am not too far away from 65, I would say, for me, that is too young to sign away anything, period. Longevity runs in both sides of my family, not saying it’s a given.. We already have the living will w/ all of those details in place. Plus our wills..but for me, any more control to anyone is still a ways off. Thankful you have a daughter you trust. Can’t imagine not having an extended family safety net.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought my parents were organized but until you’re in it you don’t realize what there is to consider. And yes…I’m going to the doctor with my parents today because I think they hear what they want instead of what the doctor is saying. I feel like I’m parenting them

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Honestly I feel like I’m parenting toddlers. In the car my mother is cold my dad is hot and they’re bickering. I feel like I need to bring a bag with water, snacks, extra blanket and games to occupy them. My dad is doing great though and now I need to worry about my mom

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You sound like you have the same role as one of my sisters w/ my parents. ( having a front row seat w/ bickering, taking them to Dr’s appointments, etc.) My role is a “handyman/ part time health care aid, stop for a cup of coffee sort of child.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. My daughter is so mature and self sufficient now, I thought I was done with parenting😆 I’ve kind of got everything because my sister is across the country. I can handle it, but it’s bizarre because my parents have always been Uber capable

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It feels surreal to watch your (my) parents go from uber, capable, to confused and vulnerable. (and so rewarding to see your child turn into a self sufficient adult). It is one of life’s greatest joys. (for me)

        Liked by 1 person

  10. As an RN who previously worked directly with families of those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, I agree with you 100% that, although it is often very hard to “relinquish some of your control” to someone else, when you may still feel totally “yourself”, it is far, far better…….for you and those who will have to help take care of you…..to start to get “your affairs” of this nature in order earlier rather than later. I also have very personal experience with this, as my own dear mother ended her beautiful life with the last 8 or 9 years in a tortuous battle with dementia. My parents devoted their whole lives to living extremely frugally in order to slide monies into savings for their “golden years”. They did without ….much of the time. My dad had grown up very poor and he wanted my sister and I to have all the benefits of his lifetime of saving. He amassed quite a bit. He created a trust and planned well…..But, sadly, he was too fearful of taking final steps…early on…..to “sign over” things to my sister and I when he should have. Consequently, by the time my mother’s illness was recognized for what it truly was (there was lots of denial in there for a long time), it was too late. Almost all of their life savings went to the government and a nursing home…and his beloved and beautiful wooded acreage and the home place where he had grown up & that had been in his family for 100 years…….and that they had wanted my sister and I to have for years to come……had to be sold in order to pay for my mom’s care. Sadly, my dad died….mostly of a broken heart……in the middle of all that……before the property had to be sold….or that alone would have finished him. All this happened unnecessarily because he didn’t want to give up any of his “control” early enough. My sister and I got very, very little of all that they had worked and saved for their entire lives. There are many lessons in all of this but I don’t have time right now to go into more detail. The bottom line is that it is important to get your ducks in a row EARLY.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing this with us. I’m sorry you had to deal with this, but unfortunately I realize that many will need to deal with this and similar situations. I think we need to discuss and plan all of these things. It’s way too important and there’s so much to consider

      Liked by 1 person

  11. You make a good point. My parent’s have it set up with my oldest sister. They did it when in their 70’s , not that they needed it yet but my Dad wanted to be prepared. He alwaya has been the type that looks ahead. Maybe Brad and I need to think more about that. It seems to be far in the future but reality could be very different. “This is Us” has been hard to watch!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Having been the ‘power’ for 4 relatives (parents, aunts) a simple will with medical power of attorney sufficed when needed. I was able to even take one off life support with her living will. I don’t think there needs to be a set time for any of it because who knows what the future holds. I already have will, living will, medical and regular POA (power of attorney) set up with my kids and friends to help guide them when needed. I set what I wanted in motion. Now it’s their turn to do it when the time comes so there’s no questioning what my wishes are.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Yes I really must get organised. My sister nominated me as her attorney while we were still in our 50s. It is easier, and cheaper, to do it while all parties are able to talk about it and give consent. Lawyers benefit from delay. Actually, thinking about it that way I ought to arrange things – it will be a great comfort to know that my dying is not going to help thicken a lawyer’s wallet.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We got the timing wrong with my Mum and the solicitor, who decides if the person is competent to make the decision or not, decided she wasn’t. They then presented us with a bill for over £1,000 for the work that needed doing to get the courts to award us power of attorney. A lovely system!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. After my mother and father-in-law died within five weeks of each other, and after losing my own father and seeing the financial mess he left for my mother, my husband and I went to an attorney and got all sorts of decisions made. When we told my daughter she’s the one who gets to decide when to “pull the plug” she was less than thrilled, but I’d rather she made that call than some overworked medical professional. Financially, we chose to help our kids a bit while they were young and still need the help, just in case we go through our money (some major illness, etc.) before we die. So yes, get your “ducks in a row.” You’ll sleep better at night!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! We can’t wish things away, or think it won’t happen to us, because it does! The more things you have in place, the easier it is to deal with the unexpected things that will crop up

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh this is an interesting subject. I don’t know how I feel about my own situation, but I have been in your shoes regarding aging parents. Something to think about – that’s the first step to figuring it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I was fortunate that my father was an organised and pragmatic man. He put all the necessary arrangements in place before his dementia took over. It made a very hard & emotional time less difficult to navigate. Still not easy & smooth, but we’re all so grateful for his insight. I know it’s something I need to do as well but, as my daughter is an only child, I feel for her without siblings to share the burden. Especially as she has two very small children & a full-time career to handle. But as her husband is seeing his grandmother’s ageing causing practical issues, so I know he’ll be supportive. He’s already instructed me 😉 that his parents & I all need to move near them before we get too much older, to make it easier for them to manage & care for us. Bless him. Now it’s my job to put the legalities into place.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. When my wife and I did our wills, we each completed both a Personal Directive and a Power of Attorney to lay out the proper steps should life make it necessary.

    I believe this is something which should be done. The more we can do to remove extra work, stress and uncertainty prior to the inevitable will benefit both us and those we leave behind.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Agreed. I’d like to add funeral planning to this list. No one wants to talk about any of this, but all of it should be planned out; otherwise, you’re leaving a bunch of stressful events for other people.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I thought my parents were prepared and while they mostly were, the POA stuff was written to require a doctor’s affidavit to say they were unable to do these things. Also, my dad was my mom’s POA but he had absolutely no interest in handling things so we had to go to the attorney and have everything redone. It can be very difficult to do even simple things for my dad unless my name is also included, such as his satellite TV account. Made sure our stuff is more flexible than that.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I understand your concerns. My grandmother, aged 88 started dementia symptoms a year ago. But here in Lebanon, there are no legal hoops when it comes to medical stuff. My dad goes to all my grandmas appointments for her and just describes her symptoms to get her prescriptions. He can get her medicine no problem as long as he has the prescription.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s