How to know when to take over parent's affairs?
Find a Conversation
|Tue, 09-03-2013 - 2:32pm|
So I'm struggling here being my parent's caregiver. I won't bother with our relationship details but rather sum it up & say that I'm an only child who feels responsible to ensure that Mom & stepdad are taken care of physically but because of many issues with my Mom's alcoholism & my poor relationship with my stepdad, I'm not interested in a close personal relationship these days.
We signed up to move them into a brand new retirement home only 15 mins from me instead of the hour plus that there was before. This was done 14 mths ago & the building of the retirement home has been delayed & delayed. They moved out of their previous retirement home on Feb 4th & the owners of the new retirement home have been paying to have them live first in a resort then in another retirement home. They were to move into the new retirement home last Sat but 2013 isn't our lucky yr. On Thurs, their 2nd floor apt & most of the home's 1st floor reception & dining room were flooded due to a plumber's error. They are now in a 3rd retirement home until this damage is fixed. So right now their physical needs are being met & because I'm not inhuman, I spent most of Fri & Sat with them getting them settled into the new place. I will be there the next 2 days as Mom is having dental surgery.
As I was trying to get their insurance claim set up, I find out that they hadn't changed their address so I am praying that the claim will be valid. I asked Mom twice & was reassured she had done this both times. So now I'm pretending to the insurance company that they moved their furniture in last week. I called to confirm the dental surgery tomorrow as Mom has no phone where she is right now. They don't have a copy of the ecg she had done. There was a problem with the req & a different dr supported the new retirement home had to provide a new req. It seems that Mom never mentioned that the dental surgeon was the one who needed the results. So I'm on the phone for 2 hrs trying to get through to the med clinic who did the test only to be told they can't release to dental office, then I have to track down dr's office who have no idea what I'm talking about because there was nothing in her file requesting this. Finally, they found the report in the to be filled pile & faxed it. Mom didn't know name of clinic & since this wasn't her family dr but someone associated with the retirement home, she only knew her as Amy. So I'm the one researching these people before I can call them. Thank goodness for the web.
These are just 2 examples of events that if I had been allowed to handle in the first place won't have taken as much time & effort. There are many more. But my Mom says she is fully capable of handling her own affairs but then expects me to handle when things become difficult. She has a severe hearing loss & so phone conversations don't go well. She lip reads but sometimes gets facts wrong then or forgets stuff. She is too stubborn to tell someone she didn't hear or understand what they said even though she has been hard of hearing her whole life.
I get caught between their need to be independent & having to clean up their messes & my husband's frustration because he feels they are "using" me. Unfortunately here, I can't just invoke the power of attorney I hold unless my Mom is deemed mentally incompetent & my conscious won't allow me to walk away. There were lots of books to read when I was raising my kids but I haven't found anything really helpful in dealing with my aging parents.