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Old 01-12-2010, 07:07 AM   #41
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My spouse has condensed this whole discussion into three words from a sitcom: "Just shoot me." I don't think I share that sentiment (for either of us) and I'm glad I don't have to delve into the mechanics of that "plan" for a few more decades.
I'm of the opinion many (most) who plan on using the Hemingway Solution fail due to the situation you describe with your dad. How can you implement the plan when you can't even recall what it was? Keep a note on the refrigerator door saying "shoot yourself"?
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:11 AM   #42
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We have all vowed that we will learn from what we are all experiencing with our parents and when it is our time will ensure we act in a different manner.
Which is why I can see DW and I moving to a continuous care facility in ten years or so. We don't have kids and wouldn't put that burden on them if we did.

One BIL calls that (continuous care facility) "waiting to die". I call it facing the reality that in 20 years I'm going to be almost 80. Hopefully I'll still have all my marbles but if not I don't want DW to have to deal with some cantankerous irascible unreasonable senile old coot.
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:19 AM   #43
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... I don't want DW to have to deal with some cantankerous irascible unreasonable senile old coot.
I'm not positive but it does appear you may be too late...
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:20 AM   #44
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Tough deal, Nords. My sympathies.

This is a wake-up call/reminder for me. I have nudged my parebts to get their affairs in order, but they have been lax about it. Time to start pushing them again. Dad just turned 70 and is a heart patient (having issues with arythmia now). He recently had a minor accident after a dizzy spell. Mom is in OK shape, but heavy. They live in a small town 45 min south of us and the house is not set up for degrading physical conditions. Time to push them on the will, healthcare directive, POA, etc.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:14 AM   #45
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REWahoo is cracking me up....

If you are only 70 years old and going into continuous care, isn't that a little early to be throwing in the towel UNLESS you have a family history of early dementia? Just my opinion.
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:05 AM   #46
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I'm of the opinion many (most) who plan on using the Hemingway Solution fail due to the situation you describe with your dad. How can you implement the plan when you can't even recall what it was? Keep a note on the refrigerator door saying "shoot yourself"?
Yeah, Galt pretty much ruined the credibility of that method, along with his own credibility.

I used to think that my Dad was just going to "take a hike", literally. Now I think that he's enjoying life too much to even consider the issue. If he ever revisits it then he may be too incapacitated to do anything about it. Even worse, he might not be able to finish the job.

Personally I think I'll always be curious about the next sunrise, even if I spend my entire day playing Windows Solitaire...

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Tough deal, Nords. My sympathies.

This is a wake-up call/reminder for me. I have nudged my parebts to get their affairs in order, but they have been lax about it. Time to start pushing them again. Dad just turned 70 and is a heart patient (having issues with arythmia now). He recently had a minor accident after a dizzy spell. Mom is in OK shape, but heavy. They live in a small town 45 min south of us and the house is not set up for degrading physical conditions. Time to push them on the will, healthcare directive, POA, etc.
I'm just getting started in the new vocabulary of a new to-do list:
Will.
Healthcare directive, medical directive, living will, whatever the current term is.
Some sort of HIPAA permission for you to be told by their doctor/hospital what's going on. This may be different from the previous sentence.
Release from your parents on a doctor's form allowing you to speak to the doctor (with or without your parents present).
Durable financial POA: as you know, this can be a hassle. Many financial institutions have their own forms and nobody else's will do. It's far easier to be added as a joint owner of a checking account, which of course has its own estate-planning issues. My Dad says that when he needed POAs for his father (in 1988), the banks would give him a blank form and not ask where/how it was signed. But this was in a small town and they knew him.

It's also very helpful for the parents to write letters telling the kids what type of funeral/service they want, how they want to handle the transfer of possessions, and in general what they wish to happen when their estate is settled.

My Dad has taken care of #1 and #2, but will go no further than that. I'm starting with that assumption, anyway, and hoping to make progress later. The rest probably gets handled after "the call" in the ER or the doctor's office
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:37 AM   #47
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I sent Mom an email this morning pushing her to get the estate planing done, which she has been procrastinating on for a good 5 years now. I am trying to get them going with my estate lawyer, which should smooth things when the inevitable happens.
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:58 AM   #48
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Consider giving your parents a gift certificate for the estate planning project.

Even when your affairs are in order, legally, it is a challenge to help our parents face their own frailty and accept assistance. It may be only my experience, but men particularly won't accept help from anyone but their wife. I think this is the reason why elderly widowers often marry again (remarriage should be anticipated in estate planning).

From time to time in the Pacific NW searches are conducted for elderly men who have gone walking/hiking alone. The need to walk is often associated with Alzheimer's but I suspect this is more associated with the resolve of some to to demonstrate the to family that they are still capable of taking care of themselves.
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:34 AM   #49
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Hey Nords, just wanted to share my empathy for your situation. My FIL had a slew of medical probs (i think i shared some here) and it is a lot extra to do and extra emotional drain as well.

If anything you are well equipped to handle it and he is lucky to have you as a son!

Best wishes to you and your family thru this...
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Old 01-12-2010, 12:02 PM   #50
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Which is why I can see DW and I moving to a continuous care facility in ten years or so. We don't have kids and wouldn't put that burden on them if we did.

One BIL calls that (continuous care facility) "waiting to die". I call it facing the reality that in 20 years I'm going to be almost 80. Hopefully I'll still have all my marbles but if not I don't want DW to have to deal with some cantankerous irascible unreasonable senile old coot.
We are thinking of moving to a facility when we qualify at 60. In Australia our facilities have 3 levels of care. First is independent living which would allow us to have an apartment or villa. When things start to go downhill we would get assisted living - stay in the same residence and they would come and provide required assistance. Last stage is nursing home where you are lying on a bed in a private room in the nursing home waiting for the end to come.

We also don't have children and figure we should make the decision whilst we are at the top of our game. 60 may seem young, but personally I think there are a lot of advantages. First, when you buy in there is no stamp duty which is about 5% on any property you purchase in Australia. Secondly, you have a built in neighbourhood watch so when you are away you don't have to worry about what is going on at your property. We intend to travel a lot so whilst we are away the facility will rent our place out for respite care so that will give us additional income. These places have so much in situ, ie. gyms, classes of all kinds, we will decide what we participate in and what we don't. Also while we are younger it's not like we are confined to premises. Just think at 60 we would be the youngest people there and that will give us a chance to age in place and get to know a wide range of people. I think it will be easier to make the move at 60 than being 80 and having to shake up your life.
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:08 PM   #51
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We are thinking of moving to a facility when we qualify at 60. In Australia our facilities have 3 levels of care. First is independent living which would allow us to have an apartment or villa. When things start to go downhill we would get assisted living - stay in the same residence and they would come and provide required assistance. Last stage is nursing home where you are lying on a bed in a private room in the nursing home waiting for the end to come.
This worked extremely well for my Dad's parents.

The local geriatric care consultant I've talked with added that the best facilities include a "memory care" unit for Alzheimer's patients who try to wander. There's also extra staff and cognitive therapy.

I don't know if it's like this worldwide, but here some facilities are putting considerable effort into physically separating the three levels from each other (separate entrances, separate hours for shared areas) so that residents don't unexpectedly come face-to-face with their future. Apparently some of the potential residents are a bit squeamish about this. Of course the facility welcomes volunteers from their independent-living residents, too, but they try to accommodate everyone's desires.
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:46 PM   #52
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Just think at 60 we would be the youngest people there and that will give us a chance to age in place and get to know a wide range of people. I think it will be easier to make the move at 60 than being 80 and having to shake up your life.

IMO 60 unless you have a severe disability is too young for these places . You will be surrounded by sick elderly people and it will mentally wear you down . At 60 most of us are still in good shape and no way mentally or physically ready for one of those communities . Maybe rethink this idea for late 70's .
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:03 PM   #53
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IMO 60 unless you have a severe disability is too young for these places . You will be surrounded by sick elderly people and it will mentally wear you down . At 60 most of us are still in good shape and no way mentally or physically ready for one of those communities . Maybe rethink this idea for late 70's .
Problem is late 70's is usually too late. By then you are settled in your environment and from what I can see it becomes too intimidating to make the decision.

60 may seem young, however we are planning to be travelling for extended periods of time. A lot of these places, the villas are just like being part of a condo community. If you don't want to be involved you don't have to. Also by choosing young we have some control over where we go. If something goes wrong, you can be forced to go wherever is available, which is not always the best situation to be in.

Must say we went and looked at nursing homes for my MIL last year and it was quite sad to see some of these folks that were not much more than vegetables lying in their beds drooling. I would so hope that if my quality of life declines to that end that the end is quick, not a life of many years confined to a bed waiting for the grim reaper to tap me on the shoulder.
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:15 PM   #54
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Problem is late 70's is usually too late. By then you are settled in your environment and from what I can see it becomes too intimidating to make the decision.
I am around a lot of active people in their late 70s, and from what I see, unless you already have a disability where you can't completely take care of yourself, late 70s would be a fine time to make such a move.

In fact this is the time the last of the folks are "coming off the road" and settling into a simpler lifestyle with less travel and having to spend more time on medical issues, so it would seem to be about the right time to make the move.

It might be a good idea to figure out what you want earlier in your 70s, planning to take action in say 5 years.

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Old 01-12-2010, 07:48 PM   #55
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Must say we went and looked at nursing homes for my MIL last year and it was quite sad to see some of these folks that were not much more than vegetables lying in their beds drooling. I would so hope that if my quality of life declines to that end that the end is quick, not a life of many years confined to a bed waiting for the grim reaper to tap me on the shoulder.
On the positive side, at that point you probably have no idea what is going on and get lots of good drugs.
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:40 PM   #56
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On the positive side, at that point you probably have no idea what is going on and get lots of good drugs.
And that's different how?
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:53 PM   #57
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I have spent a lot of time with my elderly relatives in nursing homes and in hospital ICUs. They DO know what is going on.
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:35 PM   #58
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Hmmm - I can't add much to this thread. After my Father died, my Mom lasted about four years, age 72-76 trying to be independent in a big old Victorian 50 miles north of Portland Oregon.

I had a spy(not a relative) daughter of a close friend of thirty or so years - they get wind/won't listen to a relative( I knew you as a kid). Used to visit a lot and 'drive her shopping' when the arthritis 'acted up.'

As time passed - and the not being able to get up the steps episodes became more frequent - we flew out and gave her 'the bums rush intervention' and she eventually agreed to sell the house and move to New Orleans(94-2005). Was not smooth nor easy but we got it done.

No easy answers - cause they took care of you - and I was still her kid - no matter how old I got - and how much help she needed.

heh heh heh - Good luck - every case is different.
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:16 AM   #59
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Husband's family did an intervention with his mother too. Unclemick would know where we moved her, to a retirement place in King City near Portland. She must have been related to Nord's father, refused to move from her home although she couldn't safely drive and got lost traveling only a few blocks. Basically she lived independently until she was past to point of adjusting. There was no choice but to intervene, she was a danger to herself and could have set her home on fire. It wasn't easy.

My MIL was the Admin Asst to a college president, they hired two people to replace her when she retired. Very bright, a woman who was the family 'conductor'. From the retirement residence they moved her to adult foster care. The latter can be very very good or awful. Saw both.

With my father we needed a custodial order from the court but there we had medical records. He was an engineer with a penchant for causing chaos after surgery for a brain tumor in his 80s. He was tossed out of a couple places until we got meds that would cool his jets. What a nightmare.

Humm.. based on the above smart people can be PITAs.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:19 AM   #60
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We are thinking of moving to a facility when we qualify at 60. In Australia our facilities have 3 levels of care. First is independent living which would allow us to have an apartment or villa. When things start to go downhill we would get assisted living - stay in the same residence and they would come and provide required assistance. Last stage is nursing home where you are lying on a bed in a private room in the nursing home waiting for the end to come.
Sixty seems a little early for that to me, but similar tiers of independent/assisted/vegetable care are available here (hope to skip that last one though).

Looking around earlier for FIL, at one place you buy in for a reasonable amount and for $265/month they do ALL maintenance except interior painting. If the washing machine croaks they fix/replace it, ditto for the roof and so on. They do all the lawn mowing and snow shoveling and so on. Minor health care, drug store, cafeteria, gym, etc. are all on site. A van with driver is available for those who can't drive (for a fee of course).

I'm not ready for that yet but I'm sure there will come a time when it starts to look more attractive. DW and I are more open to the idea because it worked out so well for my mother. And I like it because it gets DW into a place where she won't have to deal with maintenance issues later on. For example, my efforts to show her how to change a furnace filter were not entirely successful.

FIL is still of the mindset that it is a "nursing home" and can't get his head wrapped around the idea that he'd be living in a single-family house with all the work done by somebody else. When I'm 70+ that will probably look like a good deal to me.
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