Author Topic: Caring for Elderly Parents  (Read 17175 times)

apl68

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Re: Caring for Elderly Parents
« Reply #180 on: October 27, 2021, 09:42:31 AM »
Just checking in.

How are things today?

M.

Okay.  I plan to speak with Dad this evening over the telephone about the situation.  Which could be awkward, since Mom might well be in the room with him at the time.  I want to ask whether he's noticed any other problems.  I wouldn't think so, since I haven't observed anything else that causes alarm.  If this is dementia, it's a very early stage.
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mamselle

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Re: Caring for Elderly Parents
« Reply #181 on: October 27, 2021, 10:18:09 AM »
All good thoughts.

M.
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smallcleanrat

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Re: Caring for Elderly Parents
« Reply #182 on: November 01, 2021, 02:46:20 PM »
So...my dad is about a decade older than my mom, and the expectation is that when he goes I'll be responsible for "looking after" my mom.

Dad has had a few discussions with me regarding this, and honestly I don't feel at all equal to the task, even though it's not imminently expected of me.

Financially, she should be ok between life insurance, savings, stocks, and such but the task of sorting it all out, organizing the paperwork, and everything else involved in making sure funds are moving where they should will fall entirely to me. Mom has always managed her personal budget, but never the household finances (mortgage, bills, taxes, etc...), and has always been adamant that it's unreasonable to expect her to learn how.

I've never had a mortgage, my taxes have thus far been pretty simple as I don't own property or have lots of investments, and I'm dreading having to be the one to figure everything out for somebody else.

What worries me most is Dad asking me to "make sure she doesn't spend everything at once." Meaning, make sure Mom doesn't dig herself into a hole splurging on luxury goods, expensive trips, plastic surgery, whatever. Otherwise, the money won't last.

I don't know how on earth he expects me to do this. He doesn't plan on giving me any legal control of the money, so it'll all be based on my "guidance." She has never listened to my guidance on anything in her life; why does he think she would suddenly start any time in the future? I have no idea what I could possibly do towards this or how I would handle things if she ran out of money and started insisting I support her.

Puget

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Re: Caring for Elderly Parents
« Reply #183 on: November 01, 2021, 03:35:03 PM »
So...my dad is about a decade older than my mom, and the expectation is that when he goes I'll be responsible for "looking after" my mom.

Dad has had a few discussions with me regarding this, and honestly I don't feel at all equal to the task, even though it's not imminently expected of me.

Financially, she should be ok between life insurance, savings, stocks, and such but the task of sorting it all out, organizing the paperwork, and everything else involved in making sure funds are moving where they should will fall entirely to me. Mom has always managed her personal budget, but never the household finances (mortgage, bills, taxes, etc...), and has always been adamant that it's unreasonable to expect her to learn how.

I've never had a mortgage, my taxes have thus far been pretty simple as I don't own property or have lots of investments, and I'm dreading having to be the one to figure everything out for somebody else.

What worries me most is Dad asking me to "make sure she doesn't spend everything at once." Meaning, make sure Mom doesn't dig herself into a hole splurging on luxury goods, expensive trips, plastic surgery, whatever. Otherwise, the money won't last.

I don't know how on earth he expects me to do this. He doesn't plan on giving me any legal control of the money, so it'll all be based on my "guidance." She has never listened to my guidance on anything in her life; why does he think she would suddenly start any time in the future? I have no idea what I could possibly do towards this or how I would handle things if she ran out of money and started insisting I support her.

You can hire professionals for much of this (tax preparer, financial advisor) so I wouldn't fret too much about not knowing exactly what to do. But do make sure you have all the info you will need-- now, before you need it. My parents, hopefully, will be around for several more decades, but I have a file with my parents' wills, and information on all their accounts, the safe deposit box at their bank, passwords, etc. We've also had some conversations about end of life care wishes, which are hard conversations but important ones.

As for your mother's spending, there probably isn't much of a way for you to actually control her spending unless she is not competent (in the legal sense). It would be good if your father talked through the finances with her regularly so she understands how much money there is, where it goes, and how long it is likely to last. Obviously it would be even better if she took an active role, but it doesn't sound like she's open to that. If/when the time comes, you can also enlist a financial planner to have this talk with her and help her set a reasonable budget.
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wellfleet

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Re: Caring for Elderly Parents
« Reply #184 on: November 01, 2021, 04:50:08 PM »
Also, the older parent doesn't always die first. The (most obviously) sick parent doesn't always die first, either.

smallcleanrat, your dad is engaged in some heavily wishful thinking. You sound like you are resisting as best you can, but he's not really listening to you, either. Any chance you can get him to listen to anyone else? An estate lawyer or financial planner or even a savvy sibling or friend?
One of the benefits of age is an enhanced ability not to say every stupid thing that crosses your mind. So there's that.

FishProf

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Re: Caring for Elderly Parents
« Reply #185 on: November 02, 2021, 03:38:29 AM »
MIL and FIL are not taking care of their 2nd home (and just finished having a 3rd home built), but will ALSO not let MrsFishProf and her brother take over the maintenance of home 2.  It is causing a huge rift in the family. 

My (significantly younger) folks sold their home for $1million+ and have retired to Hawaii debt and care free.  That both helps (don't need to worry about them) and hurts (the comparison is usually tetchy) in navigating this side of the family.

As the Son-in-law, I am in a position of observing from the sidelines, but it is hard to watch decades of disfunction coming to this unpleasant head.
And how is that working out for you?

mamselle

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Re: Caring for Elderly Parents
« Reply #186 on: November 02, 2021, 07:20:34 AM »
Also, having to clear out a family home (which we did just a few years ago) can be expensive, tiring, and time-consuming.

It took three of the four of us (one is not in a place to contribute much, having walked out) a year after my mom's death to clear all the tchotchkes, file all the papers, find all the deeds (including two pieces of property in an Arizona dessert), sell all the furniture, and share out all the memorabilia.

I also have six boxes of my uncle's music arrangements and his trombone; my sister has the 12 boxes of geneaology studies my mom and my dad's sister amassed to go through, plus the 20 boxes of 78 records that had funneled down from my grandfather, uncle, and aunt, to my mom and dad. I will sell or donate the music to a swing band history group; she will do a second volume of the family history notebook my mom gave us each 20 years ago, with updated copies to add to the large-volume 3-ring binders we each got.

We tried selling the records on Discogs but they're all well-known and plentiful, don't know what will happen with them.

My brother had the job of carting things like the 6'x12' cast-iron sheets my dad had collected in the garage (for what, no-one knew) to the ironmonger's, taking 8 closets of clothes to various re-sale shops and shelters, and carting all the unwanted, unclaimed tchotchkes to the church thrift shop/bazaar for resale (most of them had come from there; my mom was a volunteer...)

Oh, and we had to divvy up my uncle's paintings, three of which we sold, the rest we shared out....he lived in Spain from the 1930s-50s, and was pretty good; my grandmother had supported him, and he apparently paid her in decent still-lifes, landscapes, and so on (I have one on my wall now).

And they were both functional (mostly) throughout their lives until the very end.

I had offered, 20 years before, to start going through things in the basement and the backs of closets that could have been gotten rid of in small doses over a weekend a month; they were adamant they weren't ready to do that then.

So there we were. To our credit, we're all still on speaking terms.

M.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2021, 07:22:59 AM by mamselle »
Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Reprove not a scorner, lest they hate thee: rebuke the wise, and they will love thee.

Give instruction to the wise, and they will be yet wiser: teach the just, and they will increase in learning.

Morden

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Re: Caring for Elderly Parents
« Reply #187 on: November 02, 2021, 08:53:22 AM »
Hi SCR, Some things will be within your control if one of your parents dies, or becomes incapacitated, but a lot of things won't. You can help the surviving parent by connecting them with an accountant, financial planner, lawyer, etc. but whether or not the parent takes the advice is up to them (until they become legally incapacitated).
I did teach my 80+ year old mother how to balance a checkbook; she never had to do it before my dad got dementia. I would check periodically that she was doing it OK, or if it wouldn't balance sometimes, usually because of an automated bill she forgot to enter, I would fix it. We went on like that for over a decade.
It is important to have lists of their assets, and also access to their safety deposit box, or wherever they have their important papers like a will.
Good luck with all of this. It's a challenging time.

apl68

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Re: Caring for Elderly Parents
« Reply #188 on: November 24, 2021, 10:35:58 AM »
Was home over the weekend while my brother was there from out of state, and saw that Mom and Dad seemed to be doing well.  My brother has noticed Mom's lapses as well, but they seem to be progressing very slowly.  And she's otherwise okay. 

As for Dad, my brother worried a bit that he seemed to be slowing down.  Which is true enough, relatively speaking, but on Saturday Dad still had us shoveling gravel and mixing bags of concrete by hand for him to finish (He had a drainage ditch on the property that needed shoring-up).  I was informed last night that yesterday Dad mixed and finished five or six sacks of concrete by himself on the same project.  And he planned to mix and pour more today!  He turns 78 on Saturday. 
The people who lived in darkness have seen a great light;
A great light has shined upon those who lived in the shadow of death

And the Word became flesh, and lived among us

evil_physics_witchcraft

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Re: Caring for Elderly Parents
« Reply #189 on: November 24, 2021, 10:43:52 AM »
Was home over the weekend while my brother was there from out of state, and saw that Mom and Dad seemed to be doing well.  My brother has noticed Mom's lapses as well, but they seem to be progressing very slowly.  And she's otherwise okay. 

As for Dad, my brother worried a bit that he seemed to be slowing down.  Which is true enough, relatively speaking, but on Saturday Dad still had us shoveling gravel and mixing bags of concrete by hand for him to finish (He had a drainage ditch on the property that needed shoring-up).  I was informed last night that yesterday Dad mixed and finished five or six sacks of concrete by himself on the same project.  And he planned to mix and pour more today!  He turns 78 on Saturday.

Dang! Your Dad sounds like my Dad. He turned 78 in October.

mythbuster

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Re: Caring for Elderly Parents
« Reply #190 on: November 24, 2021, 10:54:48 AM »
Here's hoping that everyone has a good holiday visit with their family, of whatever age.
     We have had quite the year with my mother (74), who developed a neurological issue this past year that left her progressively immobile. As of September she was wheelchair bound. We nearly moved her into assisted living before she had a new diagnosis that led to a surgical cure! She's now working to regain her strength and stamina. I will be visiting at Christmas and hope to be amazed at improvement since I last visited for her surgery in early October.  I have have visited 3 times in this past year (it's a 1,000 miles each way). Not looking forward to the travelling, but there is hope this Christmas, where there wasn't last year for many reasons.
   This event taught the entire family a LOT about our planning as she ages. She lives alone, and COVID really slowed down the diagnostic process. My brother also finally realized that Mom doesn't tell us the same things- so we now compare notes more frequently. I now know much more about the family finances, how assisted living homes are financed, and the limits of long term care insurance.

FishProf

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Re: Caring for Elderly Parents
« Reply #191 on: November 24, 2021, 11:11:35 AM »
My FIL had a hemorrhagic stroke last week and seems, mercifully, little worse for wear.

My MIL has turned into a horrible monster (well, turned may not be right - escalated?) as this seems to be VERY inconvenient for HER.

MrsFishProf is struggling mightily with this turn of events.
And how is that working out for you?

mamselle

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Re: Caring for Elderly Parents
« Reply #192 on: November 24, 2021, 12:56:34 PM »
Thinking of you both.

Was any visiting supposed to happen?

(Or were you going to go to Hawai'i instead?)

M.
Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Reprove not a scorner, lest they hate thee: rebuke the wise, and they will love thee.

Give instruction to the wise, and they will be yet wiser: teach the just, and they will increase in learning.

fleabite

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Re: Caring for Elderly Parents
« Reply #193 on: November 24, 2021, 07:34:54 PM »
mythbuster,

That's terrific news about your mother. I hope you see further improvement when you next visit.

FishProf,

Sorry to hear about FIL's stroke and the subsequent drama. Hope things quiet down for Thanksgiving.

apl68,

Your dad's endurance is impressive. I hope your mom holds up okay, too.

FishProf

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Re: Caring for Elderly Parents
« Reply #194 on: November 25, 2021, 04:33:41 AM »
Thanks

We were to do TG with FIL/MIL but are now just doing the immediate FishProf family and we'll have another get together when things have settled down (assuming)
And how is that working out for you?