I am like many women. Part of the baby boomer generation, I am now at an age where I have an elderly parent. There are difficult decisions to be made. Conversations to have that are not easy.
My mom's recent emergency admittance to the hospital and the procedure to put in a temporary stent to bypass an extremely large bile duct stone was a wake up call. The first questions were "does anyone have a medical power of attorney?" and "does she have a living will?". Hmmmm!!! No to the first question and she has lost it to the second question.
My mom will be turning 90 years old in August, and tomorrow I will be driving her up to Indianapolis to have electrohydraulic lithotripsy. They will hopefully be able to blast that stone away and have her feeling like her old self again. But, because of her age, it is a risky procedure. So, I knew it was time to have some difficult conversations. Time to prepare for what my mom wants to happen at the end of her life and what I need to have in order to help her.
So yesterday we spent nine hours taking care of the important things. Believe me we were both physically, emotionally , and mentally drained at the end of the day.
Here are some of the things we did.
Visited her attorney. He is an old family friend who grew up next door to me, which made things easier. He updated her will, drew up a general power of attorney, and a had her sign a new living will. He also gave us some advice and a referral to an elder care attorney.
Met with her personal banker. We added my name to her account so that I am able to write checks for her if she is unable. We added my name to her lock box and then went through the lock box, removing old unnecessary papers and adding the new ones from the attorney.
We then made the most difficult stop of the day. We went to the funeral home to prearrange her funeral and to take care of the expenses.
I am the go to person for mom. I am the primary executrix of her will and the first decision maker on her living will. These are not things to take on lightly, but I know that my mom needs to know that someone is there for her.
I know that there are many others of you who are facing these same conversations and decisions. Even though it is a difficult process, it is a relief to get these things taken care of. I think that it is also a relief for the elderly parent. I know that my mom and I can now go to Indianapolis tomorrow feeling that sense of relief and looking forward to what I hope are many more years together.