The Time is NOW for Action, not later.
by Mrs. D
Please don't wait around hoping that your elderly Mom or Dad is suddenly going to want to discuss how they want or should be taken care of.
My sister and myself and our non-participant siblings waited and waited out of "Respect" for our dear Mom to discuss this critical subject.
We had no idea or clue what was about to happen and face down a person who came down with quickly advancing Alzheimer's and uncooperative most of the time to deal with.
Sit down with your folks and discuss freely what should happen when one or both of them come down with a disease in which they can no longer care for themselves or be left alone 24/7. Also, discuss a medical proxy on who they would like to be in charge of making their medical decisions.
Also, get a durable will that states whether or not they want to be revived (DNR). Also, have them put their affairs in order, a living trust and naming at least two of the grown children to oversee its distribution once they are gone.
Find out where insurance policies are kept and whats in a safe deposit box. Have them appoint someone Financial Power of Attorney so someone can pay their bills and keep everything up while they are still alive and need that help. Plan the funeral, the outfit to be buried in, the cemetery plot, etc. Don't put all of this off until its all staring you in the face.
On driving, take the keys away and sell the car to offset the caregiving expenses they no doubt will need. I do not say these things to be cold, indifferent or mean-spirited. I say these things to prepare you as the grown adult children to know what needs to be handled before they have no mental capacity in which to do so.
You need to protect them and guard them as if they were your child at this fragile time in their life. The conversation is a difficult one, but trust me, its far more difficult if you put it off til tomorrow.
Good luck and God be with all of you.