Aging Parents

I hadn’t really thought of my parents as “aging”, though realistically we are all aging no matter our age, my parents are only in their mid-sixties so I never gave any thought to the issues faced by older adults. At only sixty-five years of age my mother suffered her second stroke a few months ago, this time it was a serious stroke. My mother’s first stroke did leave her with some physical challenges, but they were challenges that were easily dealt with, she was left with a permanent limp, and was a little more difficult to understand, but otherwise relatively the same as prior to her stroke. This most recent stroke was much more severe and she is still in a home for rehabilitation after approximately five months and has had little improvement. One of the things that I am learning the hard way is that if you have siblings you cannot live in a different state because your siblings may very well use the opportunity to pull some of the most conniving, sneaky, underhanded dealings that you could imagine while you are not present to oversee and prevent, and your parent is somewhat incapacitated. If you are an adult then you should sit your parents down no matter how good their health, or how young their age, and have them write out, and have notarized their specific wishes and instructions for their care, who is to handle their finances, who is assigned what responsibility, and to whom and in what order (should anyone else become incapacitated) there is to be the assignment of an executor or be given the power of attorney. I, and my mother, are finding this out the hard way and unfortunately my mother often falls for the sneakiness and altogether lies of my siblings and stepfather. Oddly, she does not suffer this blindness when it comes to me, and has actually had false memories of me having done or said things which never happened. One thing, of which she kept insisting happened, I was actually able to disprove because I had a friend and the photos to dispute the memories. It was a stupid imagined memory, but it is merely being used to point out that she imagines me to be worse in her head while being oblivious to everyone else. The point here is this; make sure that your parents (and grandparents if they are still living), have everything drawn up in a legal manner so that everyone knows what is to be done and who is responsible for it. If you yourself are a parent, then you need to make sure these things are done, or you could end up stuck in a nursing home while one of your kids pillages your bank accounts while freezing out their siblings and doing whatever they want with your property.

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