Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-20-2011, 09:59 PM   #141
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,320
I'm finally a conservator.

The hearing was Monday afternoon. Last month it was scheduled for 2:30 PM, then last week it was changed to 2 PM. At first it was in one room (with one teleconference number), and then it changed again. The morning of the hearing (90 minutes before) they changed it yet again. I'd been trying each of the phone numbers but apparently the lines weren't actually connected to phones. When I dialed in to the latest number the clerk answered, and I had to explain where to find the rest of ohana Nords & lawyers. Then we had to wait for Dad's lawyer. I was on hold for 25 minutes and my wireless phone's aging battery died in the middle of the judge's speech, but I managed to hot-swap from one receiver to the other without anyone noticing.

However last Wednesday night the lawyer ran me around for three hours. Here's her e-mail:
Quote:
I have reviewed your draft Conservator's Inventory and Financial Plan, as has your dad's attorney. We agree that you need to make some additions to page 6 - 7, Item D. Under professional expenses and legal fees, enter $0 for guardian, conservator and guardian ad litem. Under Protected Person's attorney's fees, state $0 monthly, $500 - $1,000 (estimate) total under Annual. For Petitioner's attorney's fees, state $0 monthly, $3,000 (estimate) total under Annual. State $0 for care manager and CPA unless you plan to use someone. State $0 for other categories. Enter totals in Part V, Section B.
Then, please sign and fill in the Certificate of Service. Although you're filling in this section, I will take care of mailing or e-serving the parties.
Once you have completed these steps please send a pdf copy, with your signature, to my paralegal AND send the hard copy via Federal Express. Please feel free to call me if you have any questions.
PLEASE SEND THE PDF AND FED EX RIGHT AWAY SO THAT WE RECEIVE IT PRIOR TO THE HEARING.
This is unfortunately typical of her lack of response and last-minute "preparation". I especially appreciated her using the uppercase so that I could understand her better. It's confusing when lawyer sentences have all those big & little letters mixed together.

The state's website says that the (eight-page) inventory/plan is submitted after the conservator is appointed, but I'd decided to get her opinion on my draft. I'd sent it in October-- just over eight weeks before this last-minute e-mail. I figured she knew something about probate court that I didn't know, but she also doesn't understand how hard it is to ship freight during the holiday season. So I responded:
Quote:
Please note that it's after 7 PM in Hawaii with only about 112 hours to go before the hearing. You have had this document for over two months. I do not understand what has delayed your feedback to this late date and I feel that our entire nine months of preparations are being held hostage to last-minute crisis management. I will do as you ask simply because I feel that we have no time left nor any other alternatives.
I will attempt to turn this around within 12 hours-- overnight. Believe it or not, I have never had to send anything by FedEx before-- but I will learn how and hopefully I will be able to complete it during Thursday's business hours.
It is unrealistic for you to expect that FedEx will be able to transport a hardcopy from these islands during holiday cargo season to arrive on Monday. Your envelope is being handled after the rest of the shipping backlog, and it's subject to weather delays or equipment problems. You may get lucky, and it may get through. But please make contingency plans as though the hardcopy doesn't show up until Wednesday.
Regardless of whether you have FedEx's hardcopy in your hands in the probate courtroom by Monday, we will still expect to be having a hearing with the judge as scheduled.
It turns out that our post office (a mile from home) closes the counter after business hours but keeps the lobby open 24/7 for the two weeks before Christmas-- and they have a FedEx drop box too. I was able to collect everything I needed for both USPS overnight mail and FedEx, but the next pickup for both wasn't until Thursday evening. (The lawyer's "crisis" e-mail missed Wednesday's deadlines by two hours.) USPS claimed they could do it by Saturday afternoon, FedEx by Monday morning. $75 later I was sending the same eight-page signed original by two different methods-- although probably in the same plane fuselage.

The lawyer's response:
Quote:
I understand your frustration, and I’ve been frustrated too. We have encountered numerous problems: a change in probate judges; a new judge who has never worked in probate before; too few court staff members who are slow to respond and typically require numerous follow up calls; problems with the court’s computer having difficulty “reading” your identification information; too many cases and not enough court dates, etc. In addition, because your dad said he wanted a lawyer (even though he didn’t have any objection to the appointment of either of you), the court was required by law to appoint an attorney. This slowed down the process, too.
I should have been more clear about why I was asking for overnight delivery of the conservator’s inventory and financial plan. Although we can file a pdf, I do eventually have to have an original signature. I was thinking that, given the distance and the holiday volume, the document would arrive sooner. I never intended to stress you out and I’m sorry that happened.
I'm skeptical. It took her three months just to find a psychologist willing to assess Dad's capacity, and she only got moving after my brother suggested that we should consult a different lawyer. Even back in October she could have estimated all the info on the court's plan that she insisted she didn't have until Wednesday. I think she just "forgot", or else the other lawyer or the probate clerk asked a question.

When I read her e-mail I realized I was paying a lawyer $275/hour to argue with me, so I stopped. She never has to see another conservator's plan from me.

If you're in a large western city and you're contemplating hiring a lawyer whose last name rhymes with "Bridgeway", you might want to contact me first to discuss specific performance issues. It also turns out that the state will let you petition for guardianship & conservatorship without a lawyer, although in our case it ended up being essential.

At the hearing, the judge read from his motion. As anticipated, my brother was appointed as guardian and I was appointed as conservator. Bro's annual report is due in February and mine is due in March. I heard my father respond to a couple of questions with "Yes, your honor", and I don't think my brother had to say anything at all.

The judge commented to my Dad that he was fortunate to have a son who was actually qualified to make a plan for this situation. ERs rock.

Due to numerous delinquencies of other guardians & conservators, our court appointments are only good for 30 days past the annual filing deadlines. No report, no new appointment letter.

Over $6800 in legal bills so far, and that doesn't include the December invoice with the court appearance. Another $3700 for the psychologist's assessment of Dad's incapacitance.

I guess I'll wait a week before I start asking after the appointment letter. Hopefully the lawyer or someone from the court will e-mail it.
__________________

__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 12-21-2011, 06:13 AM   #142
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Free To Canoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Cooksburg,PA
Posts: 1,387
Congrats on completing this hurdle. Thanks for the update. Good info.

Mele Kalikimaka!
__________________

__________________
Free to canoe
Free To Canoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2011, 06:39 AM   #143
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 7,076
My dealings with lawyers at work consistently followed your pattern - get your part to me now, I will get to mine at the final hour. We ultimately had to swallow the lawyer's strategy/argument/whatever whole because there was no time to do anything else.

But as my mother used to say Nords, "you are earning your halo in heaven."

DW's father took a turn for the worse on Friday and died Monday night. DW certainly earned her halo during the protracted decline. Ultimately, her father had a quick and peaceful death which was a blessing. Talk about halos in heaven, the hospice nurses were saints. Others have said it before and I will say it again, hospice is the only way to go when terminal illnesses approach their end. On the financial side he was literally weeks away from running out of funds and switching to Medicaid. But he had earlier purchased funeral services, and a grave site with his first wife so that is all covered. I guess he won the "die broke" competition in perfect form.

So we probably won't be dealing with these issues until one of us starts to slide. No, wait, my three 15+ years older siblings are next up. I won't have a primary role but I will be involved.
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2011, 07:00 AM   #144
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 3,057
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
My sympathies to you Nords (and donheff). I appreciate the frustration with lawyers. I have the same issues doing things like a new will. (Oh you mean you want page 2 to be consistent with page 1? Yes please!) But the best approach is to just lump it.
__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2011, 09:34 AM   #145
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,320
Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff View Post
So we probably won't be dealing with these issues until one of us starts to slide. No, wait, my three 15+ years older siblings are next up. I won't have a primary role but I will be involved.
My brother and I are still eyeing each other warily on that issue and wondering what our plans are. I have a spouse and a child, he has a long-time girlfriend. Hopefully we won't have to be involved in each others' plans.

I'm waiting to hear back from the manager at Dad's bank, who so far is the only gatekeeper in nine months to raise questions about my involvement in Dad's finances. Ironically her bank is going to get even more of Dad's money, not less, if they offer competitive rates on short-term CDs.

Next up is changing a bunch of logins & passwords.

Finally, I'll ask Fidelity to have Vanguard transfer Dad's shares "in kind" over to his Fidelity account. Dad has just a minimum balance in Vanguard's S&P500 index, and that'll probably be his only equity holding.

I've been a long-time Fidelity customer and I'm more comfortable with their service. I can't see depositing long-term care checks at Vanguard or using their billpay system. Heck, I don't know if Vanguard even has a billpay system. I just want to consolidate as much as sensible and then try to put it into autopilot.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2011, 09:38 AM   #146
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 14,820
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
I've been a long-time Fidelity customer and I'm more comfortable with their service. I can't see depositing long-term care checks at Vanguard or using their billpay system. Heck, I don't know if Vanguard even has a billpay system. I just want to consolidate as much as sensible and then try to put it into autopilot.
Makes perfect sense. You are the one that has to do the work of managing all of this, so might as well use the system most familiar to you.
__________________
"To be a man means that you are brave, loyal and true. When you are in the wrong, you own up and take your punishment. You don't take advantage of women. As a husband, you support and protect your wife and children. You are gracious in victory and a good sport in defeat. Your word is your bond. Your handshake is as good as your word... When the ship goes down, you put the women and children into the lifeboats and wave good-bye with a smile." C Murray
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2012, 08:52 PM   #147
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,320
I'm trying to freeze my Dad's credit files. Maybe I should ask the question here before I spend hours on hold with the credit-reporting agencies.

For those who are just joining this thread, my father's in mid-stage Alzheimer's and coming up on his first year in a care facility. He's happy there and he'll never live independently ever again. I'm now his conservator and my brother is his guardian. We have the probate court's appointing order and the legal letters. We're all getting along together and everything is going fine.

Most of the last year has been spent figuring out what Dad has and how to handle it. That stage is finished and now I'm cleaning up the lower-priority items on the "To Do" list. At first I hesitated to cancel his credit cards, but now it's clear that he'll no longer need them. Both of the cards in his wallet have expired but he says he "doesn't need to use them anymore" and he "doesn't worry about it". (I've learned that this is Dad's code talk for "I can't remember how to do that.") I used Chase's website to change his mailing address & phone number to my place and I have the new cards in my desk, but I haven't activated them. It's possible that he has credit cards from other companies or with other stores (he doesn't remember) but we haven't found any. When he and my brother go out for lunch or shopping, bro pays the bills and Dad reminds him to get reimbursed from me.

We've already shut down Dad's apartment and "downsized" his possessions, and he expects to live the rest of his life in the care facility. He runs a personal tab there for $12 haircuts & $2 snacks, I keep the account loaded up with $100, and I get monthly statements. My brother gives Dad cash when he asks for it (and I keep bro loaded up with funds). I'm handling all Dad's other finances online. (Thank goodness for website billpay.) For the two times when I needed a credit card, I used mine and reimbursed myself. (The probate court agrees with doing this.) Dad's long-term care insurance is paying out for another 29 months and after that he has enough pension & savings to stay "private pay" for several more years.

In other words, I can't imagine a situation where he'll need access to credit. I'm not even sure whether a ward is entitled to credit, but I've learned not to flaunt my conservator powers unless specifically busted challenged. I plan to just keep his new (unactivated) credit cards in my files until Chase gives up on him and cancels his accounts.

So it's probably time to freeze Dad's credit files against identity theft. When I start this online (with Equifax, Experian, or Transunion) I have all of Dad's personal info up to the point where they ask for payment. I'm pretty sure that freezing a person's credit file online requires using their personal credit card. (Otherwise millions of Americans would be using Bill Gates' SSN to freeze his credit files for a prank...) I don't particularly want to use Dad's credit cards for this because I'd have to activate them first, and since his new Chase cards now have a new address/phone number I'd probably end up talking to a human being. I'd rather let Dad's cards die, and I don't want to try to run one of my own credit cards through the credit reporting agency's website for fear of triggering some fraud alert.

Is there any other way to freeze a credit file? Or am I just going to have to start sending request letters to the credit-reporting agencies with copies of my conservator's appointment and a hand-written paper check?
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2012, 09:44 PM   #148
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MooreBonds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 1,301
Nords, when I put a credit (either watch, alert, hold, etc. - whatever the 1 year long thing is that requires your explicit signed consent to open up any new credit accounts) on myself a few years ago, I don't recall ever having to speak to anyone - I thought all I did was enter my SSN and a few details. Maybe it has changed since, or maybe I was doing a lower-level thing compared to what you want to do for your father.

As far as finding out all of his open accounts, I presume you've already received his annual free credit report from the 3 agencies? That would be the first (and should also be the only) step in identifying any open credit cards that might be floating around out there.
__________________
Dryer sheets Schmyer sheets
MooreBonds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2012, 10:05 PM   #149
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,320
Quote:
Originally Posted by MooreBonds View Post
As far as finding out all of his open accounts, I presume you've already received his annual free credit report from the 3 agencies? That would be the first (and should also be the only) step in identifying any open credit cards that might be floating around out there.
Oh, good point. I'll do that next.

We've confirmed searched for but found no other financial accounts, no Treasury accounts, and no safe deposit box.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2012, 10:21 PM   #150
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
bbbamI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas 'burb
Posts: 8,720
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
<snip>

We've confirmed searched for but found no other financial accounts, no Treasury accounts, and no safe deposit box.
Regarding the safe deposit box....just because a charge doesn't show up on a bank statement, it could be he had a particular type of account that included the perk of a 'free' safe deposit box. Therefore no fees and no notices in the mail.

You might want to double-check...
__________________
There's no need to complicate, our time is short..
bbbamI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2012, 06:28 AM   #151
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 7,076
Nords, I would try paying the credit freeze fee with your own card and see if it works before trying something else.
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2012, 10:47 PM   #152
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,320
Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff View Post
Nords, I would try paying the credit freeze fee with your own card and see if it works before trying something else.
Y'know, I try to do the right things. I really do. It's the military ethics, which at the very least is just a way of simplifying your life by telling the truth so that you don't have to remember which lies you've told to a bunch of different people.

But the credit-reporting agencies make it so damn hard. I spent nearly an hour on the websites and on the phone today before I could verify that none of the credit-reporting agencies want to talk with an actual human being. (I'm not sure that their phone lines are even connected to another human... just to a bunch of interactive voice-response computers.) They also apparently don't include the word "conservator" anywhere on their websites that Google might be able to index... although for some reason it pops up on Experian's results.

So I went ahead and entered all of Dad's info into the websites. It's a good thing I've known him all my life because some of the verification questions were pretty tricky, including multiple-choice questions with "E. None of the above" as one of the answers. Even if he was in good health he might've gotten a couple answers wrong (or the wrong dates might be in the credit files). If I was going to freeze my own credit files then I'd have to pull out my old security-clearance investigations for all the dates & addresses.

Equifax froze his file for free, Experian took $5.20 on my (not Dad's!) credit card. Transunion... either I flipped a bit on their fraud-detection system with a wrong answer to a verification question, or else their website really is "experiencing technical difficulties". I'll try again tomorrow. Either way the other two are happy.

When you read the fine print on their disclosures, you decide that your lawyer could always say "Your Honor, it's not fraud if he's the conservator. Besides, his heart is in the right place."

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbamI View Post
Regarding the safe deposit box....just because a charge doesn't show up on a bank statement, it could be he had a particular type of account that included the perk of a 'free' safe deposit box. Therefore no fees and no notices in the mail.
You might want to double-check...
Yeah, this one's been waking me up at night.

I had to phone the bank about CDs (they don't do 'em over the website like PenFed) and since they know I'm a conservator I asked them to tell me about all of his accounts and any safe-deposit boxes. They don't have him down for any other accounts besides his checking. They don't have a record of a safe-deposit box.

I found a 1990s letter where Dad said he no longer had a safe-deposit box, although that was two banks ago. If he had a box at a bank then hopefully they would have turned it over to the state's unclaimed property division by now, and I didn't get any hits on the state website.

The reason that I think Dad really doesn't have a box is because when his father was suffering from dementia, one day Gramps emptied his safe-deposit box into a doctor's bag and put it in the trunk of his Buick. He drove around with it for nearly a year: stock certificates, savings bonds, jewelry, gold coins, rare stamps. When Dad was about to sign over the Buick's title to the new buyer he said "Let me clean out the trunk real quick" and found the bag under the spare tire. It was worth about 20x the value of the Buick.

Luckily my brother is driving Dad's SUV. We haven't found any valuables hidden in it. Time for me to stop worrying about it...

Dad's credit report has just the two Chase cards on it. No activity since last April (when I helped him make his last payments.) He paid off the SUV loan nearly 10 years ago. A company named "HCA NATIONAL PATIENT ACC" made a couple queries back when he was starting to see oncologists, so maybe that was the chemotherapy pharmacy. A couple queries from Chase, Citi, and Cap One-- probably for credit-card offers or balance-transfer checks. So now that should stop.

It's actually going pretty well. Next week I'm chasing down PenFed and USAA to see if I can open CD accounts with them or if I'm stuck with Dad's bank and Fidelity. Dad's bank is beginning to give me the 19th-century impression of guys dressed in frock coats and top hats, sitting around on stools entering data in ledgers with quill pens.

I'm probably just grumpy after mailing six "update" letters to the people who sent Dad a Christmas card.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2012, 08:20 PM   #153
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,320
Heh-- hard to believe I've been farting around with Transunion for so long.

I tried their website off & on throughout the first half of February, getting the same error message each time. The phone number never reaches a human.

I finally looked up their snail-mail option. I wrote them a letter (including Dad's two previous addresses and other requested info). Hawaii allows them to charge a $5 fee so I kissed a $5 bill good-bye, indicated "A $5 bill has been enclosed" in the letter, and mailed it off.

I didn't expect any response, but it made my inner engineer feel good to know that I'd carried out the appropriate action with all three credit-reporting agencies. I figured that two out of three would be "good enough".

This week I got a Transunion letter forwarded from Dad's old address. It had the wrong street name but the correct ZIP code, so their postmaster figured it out and sent it along. The letter said:
Quote:
"Thank you for the check you recently sent TransUnion to cover the cost of your request. Since your check was for an amount that was greater than the cost, we are enclosing a refund of the overpayment."
So, to recap the correspondence, I sent TransUnion $5.44 in cash & stamps, they sent me a $5 check for my "check" because their website is wrong, and they still haven't said anything about whether or not they've frozen Dad's credit records.

Now I have to deposit a $5 check. The $5 bill came out of my wallet, so hypothetically after depositing the check I have to reimburse myself from Dad's funds... which is done in the form of a check. Then I have to account for this account shuffling in my next annual conservator's report to the probate court.

Ironically TransUnion banks with Bank of America. If I don't cash the check then I don't have to say anything in my next report, and if I'm lucky it'll drive BofA nuts.

But BofA will probably never notice nor care.

---------

Change of subject: On the asset allocation side of things, USAA has been wonderful. Anyone can sign up with them for a bank account and CDs (and other financial services), so I e-mailed them a copy of my conservator's letter and asked them to set up an account for Dad. They called me back in a couple weeks and said they were ready. I finished setting up his account and, while I was on the phone, we withdrew funds from both Dad's checking account and his Fidelity account to set up 1- and 2-year CDs. (0.86% and 1.10%). USAA snail-mailed the signature cards (properly annotated for a conservator's signature) and we're all set.

Last week I sold off a few more of Dad's equity assets, and I've been able to use USAA's website to pull the funds from Dad's Fidelity account to buy more CDs. Worked great. I still owe PenFed a letter complaining about their "customer service", but USAA has made me a happy camper. USAA says that a lot of their members are conservators for their elderly parents. Their call center staff all know how to handle conservator/guardian paperwork. Talk about a demographic growth industry.

In a completely unrelated event, USAA's community-relations staff appear to be getting ready to invite me back for another blogger conference in November...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Progress---Of a Sort
Old 03-18-2012, 07:03 AM   #154
Full time employment: Posting here.
Huston55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 721
Progress---Of a Sort

Nords-

Glad to see the progress you've made over the past several months. It's clearly taken sheer will on your part to achieve it. Well done.

I wanted to add an update on my Mother's (who suffers from dimentia) situation. Many months back, we arranged for home help twice a day to allow her to remain at home as long as possible. That's what she wanted, and we wanted to accomodate her if possible. That worked well until Mom fell one night in the bathroom and wasn't able to get up until the home health worker found her in the morning. A scary episode which, fortunately, didn't result in injuries beyond scrapes and cuts.

That event told us it was time to move Mom out of her house. My DS and BIL decided to have Mom live with them, the thought being it would be better than an ALF; familiar environs, family around, etc. That worked for about 6 months, until Mom became too much for them to manage. I admire them greatly for the attempt but, it got to the point that it was consuming their lives. And, frankly, they're not qualified to provide the necessary care, as almost none of us are.

We've now moved Mom to an Alzheimer's/Dimentia ALF, where she is safe and has the level of care she needs. Fortunately, it's in the same city as my DS and just a couple hours from me. So, we can visit frequently. I won't go into the emotional side of this, other than to say it is traumatic. It's different for everyone. But, I think about it every day; wondering whether we've done things properly and with the right motivation. I think I will have those questions until I die. I also think, at least for me, that those thoughts can drive our choices, which is not always a good thing. So self awareness is important as one goes through this.

There are a lot of good posts on this thread regarding how to prepare for this, and I have listed a few that our experience has reinforced.

1. Have the paperwork in place well in advance (POA, conservatorship if necessary, medical directives, living will, joint accounts, etc.). It's never too early to do this, and my Mom did a great job establishing it all when she was still capable.

2. Contact your state agency on aging. They're a wealth of info and can help with: rules, available care, locating specialist help (lawyers, care facilities, home care providers, Medicare/Medicaid eligibility, etc.).

3. Visit care facilities early, as soon as you even think you may need them. We did that months ago, and it paid dividends when the time came.

4. Choose a facility knowing that your parent or loved one may (will likely) need progressively greater care. You don't want to move them again if possible.

5. Unless you are 110% certain you can do it for the long haul, and you actually do have the requsite skills, don't try to provide this care yourself. It may make you feel better at first but, will likely just result in yet one more disruptive move for your loved one.

6. If you are lucky enough to have a sibling (or someone else) who can help, maintain a good relationship with them if at all possible; it makes a world of difference to have help.
__________________
You may be whatever you resolve to be.
Huston55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2012, 07:14 AM   #155
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,739
What brave souls you are. Thank you for sharing this very specific information.

Amethyst
__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.’ Christopher Morley.
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2012, 08:18 AM   #156
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 453
Your cautions about not overestimating your capabilities to care for elders are well spoken. My MIL is 86, very frail, but mentally excellent. Because all she has is SS (~$1100/month) we built an addition 6 years ago to accommodate her. I'm able to retire any time but am reluctant as the one activity we look forward to...travel... is complicated immensely by her care. BIL and SIL will take her but both work and are reluctant to have her home unattended. Guess we can investigate part time care, but even at night she's subject to falling so we're reluctant to just have meals taken care of. Upshot of it all is to be careful what you sign up for. Can't say we would not do it for her again, but it really is an impact on our lives. I'm glad we have over invested and will not be a burden to our kids other than needing guidance and advice.
__________________
H2ODude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2012, 11:21 AM   #157
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 4,897
Based on my experience any time a senior is scheduled for surgery the family should consider the possibility that they will recuperate in a skilled nursing facility. Visit those in the area and develop a list as your favorite may not have a bed when the senior is discharged. So often families must make those decisions under difficult circumstances.

Been there, done that.
__________________
Duck bjorn.
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2012, 12:29 PM   #158
Full time employment: Posting here.
MBAustin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 866
H2O - You may want to look into temporary "respite care" stays for your MIL at a nearby ALF as an option to allow you to travel. Some facilities allow for short stays (a few days or weeks) for someone who normally lives with family but needs a safe place temporarily while their primary informal caregiver (family member) is not available. My late father wanted to go on an African safari more than 10 years ago and my mother was not able to be alone at home for that length of time, so they arranged for her to stay at an ALF for two weeks (although both my sister and I offered for her to come stay with us, she preferred this option). Worked out great for everyone. I'm not sure what the cost was but I'm pretty sure it was a daily rate.
__________________
I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.
E. B. White
----------------------------------
ER'd 10/10 at 53. Life is good.
MBAustin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2012, 10:20 PM   #159
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Baku, Azerbaijan
Posts: 4,579
With respect having to one's elders in an assisted living facility, we strongly recommend that family members visit regularly. It does not have to be long. Ask questions of the staff. Be aware of your relative's condition, too. Keep track of doctor visits and find out what transpired. Better yet, come along if you can. Learn who the supervisors are and call from time to time, especially when you are far away and can't visit regularly.

We found that even with good intentions on the part of the facility, when no-one visits, the old people get less attention (or even neglected). When they know that someone is watching, they take better care. It is good when the staff recognizes you, including the managers.
__________________
"Ain't got no money for no old-age pension;
I'm so broke, I can't pay attention!"

"I started out with nothin' and I still got most of it left."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2012, 04:39 AM   #160
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: I'm not sure anymore
Posts: 13,568
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy View Post
With respect having to one's elders in an assisted living facility, we strongly recommend that family members visit regularly. It does not have to be long. Ask questions of the staff. Be aware of your relative's condition, too. Keep track of doctor visits and find out what transpired. Better yet, come along if you can. Learn who the supervisors are and call from time to time, especially when you are far away and can't visit regularly.

We found that even with good intentions on the part of the facility, when no-one visits, the old people get less attention (or even neglected). When they know that someone is watching, they take better care. It is good when the staff recognizes you, including the managers.
This is an unfortunate but realistic aspect of assisted living and nursing home life.
__________________

__________________
Más sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
TIAA-CREF Asset Allocations SloMo FIRE and Money 0 03-16-2008 04:18 PM
Vanguard Asset Management Services Midpack FIRE and Money 11 02-23-2008 01:29 PM
multiple asset allocations kiki FIRE and Money 8 09-25-2007 08:30 AM
Year End 2005 Asset Allocations haha FIRE and Money 41 01-04-2006 01:35 AM
Retirement asset allocations HFWR FIRE and Money 2 06-02-2005 02:55 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:57 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Early Retirement News right to your Email!

Stay up-to-date with all the latest news to your inbox!

unsusbcribe at anytime with one click

Close [X]