Growing older – takes courage

I had wanted to set a goal for myself to write at least once a month. Our move is done and we are settling in nicely. Presently our main focus is my in-laws. They are a wonderful couple. My mother-in-law is such a southern bell! My father-in-law is one of the hardest workers I know. Here in recent months, we have been traveling to see them at least once a month, but then Dad started forgetting things. Mom’s health had taken a turn. Dad is soon to be 92 and Mom is 84. Dad is blind in one eye, has arthritis and just plain tired. Mom has had two strokes with breathing and heart problems. They live in another state. Dad has wanted to stay in his own home till he passes. He is frustrated with the amount of money he has had to fork out for Mom’s expense in getting help for her. We recently discovered that Dad was put on Dementia medication. His moods changed and he fired every person they hired to take care of Mom. It was a frustrating time.

We have traveled to visit Assisted Living residences both in their state and ours. We believe we have found a good place for them. It is close to us.

The difficulty we were having was 1) Dad was forgetting; 2) Dad was adamant about not moving and 3) this was putting pressure on Mom who didn’t need the pressure.

We have had several agencies helping with the transition. We are finding that if the parents don’t have certain legal documents in place, it could be a real headache for the children trying to take care of the parents.

It has finally come to the place where I had to have a serious talk with my father-in-law about what the doctor feels would be in Mom’s best interest. My husband and their house manager told him the same thing.

I have learned to watch my father-in-law’s face. I can see in his eyes when the “5 year old” wants to stand before me with his arms crossed and dare me to move him. Fortunately, we have found a place that will help make the transition smoother. In talking to my father-in-law, I told him it would take courage to make a good decision for both him and Mom. After all, it took courage for his family to come through the depression. It took courage for him to fly a plane in the Pacific during the war. It took courage to start a cattle farm. It took courage to retire. It will take courage now.

Thankfully the medication has kicked in. Right now, he has a project to work on. We are getting papers re-done and signed. We are working to get them up close to us.

I realize that this can be a very frustrating thing for any adult-child. I have even called my Mom to make sure these things are in place. I want to make sure I have this in place for our children – just in case.

I am grateful for the agencies that are out there that can help families with this process. But even here, one must really look into what will be the best fit for everyone involved. As with most, you have good and you have not so good. For now we are moving forward in finding the right people to help once they get here. We will be able to visit them more often. I am keeping all of the family abreast of what is going on.

If I can have any advice to give to adult-children in their 40/50’s – it’s this: make sure you have the discussions that you really don’t want to have with your parents. Ensure their end of life wishes are written down. Make sure you fully understand what they have made provision for. Make sure the legal documents are taken care of. If they are out of date, encourage them to bring everything up to date. You never know when you will need them.


One thought on “Growing older – takes courage

  1. Pingback: Growing older – takes courage | cathemyers

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