As a grown woman in her sixties I feel that I have handled myself pretty well in many different situations in the past. This includes both good and bad scenarios which have made me stronger, more sympathetic, wiser and an overall better person.
Over a year ago I took over the position of Power of Attorney of Health for my 85-year-old mother. Although I have the ‘title’ I look to my siblings for their input and advice when it comes to Mom’s best interests. At the moment, she is in excellent health and very mobile for her age. Any decisions that have been made have been with Mom’s approval or at least with her knowledge. She is on no medication and monitors her own vitamins which she takes daily, or not, depending on her memory. She is very independent but loves to see her family as often as possible. I do her laundry, clean her apartment, take her out shopping and spend time with her in front of her jigsaw puzzles at least once a week. She is a joy and we have a lot of laughs. With her failing memory it is sometimes a chore but I try not to show my impatience.
I sometimes fret over the day when a major decision has to be made with regards to her health. Will I have the strength to be the ‘parent’ or ‘guardian’ in this case? I guess time will tell.
My eldest daughter Jo-vee is now in such a position with her father. He is terminally ill and has recently had surgery in the local hospital. Because he can’t be left alone to care for himself, she has moved him into the office area of her house where he sleeps on her sofa bed. This arrangement is not the optimal one for her or her two boys but there is no where else for him to go. Her sister We-lyn lives over an hour away and he has no desire to be away from the area. He has alienated himself from most of his family in the past years, which lessens the chance that they are going to offer him any assistance. I feel her pain. I was married to this man for 21 years and he can be ‘difficult’ at the best of times. Here I am in my role as a ‘parent’ feeling for my child, but in no position to actually help her. I do my best to offer encouragement and a place to come to if she has to get away for a while.
I am determined that I will not be a burden to either of my daughters when I get to the point that I can’t look after myself. I will ensure that there is enough money to allow for my care in a facility if that becomes necessary before I pass. This is the least I can do!