Sunday, September 21, 2008

to me this is the hardest part of all of this. i hate having to decide this kind of stuff. that is why i am insisting my mother fill out all this now. i don't intend to deal with my sister about this stuff. life is hard enough without all the baggage from 20 years ago coming up at this time.

no matter where your loved lives, you are going to want some of their personal belongings to be with them. this helps them make the transition, and can make any move they have to make a lot easier on all of you. once you have decided what to bring with them, you have to decide what to do with the rest. if your loved one wants to go ahead and give their stuff to whomever they want to have it, DO IT. this is the best way if at all possible. it usually doesn't happen so don't insist if they don't want to part with their stuff. one thing to remember is they are no longer an independent person and to give up their things just reinforces this and makes it harder on them which in turn makes it harder on you. my personal feeling on this is if you can store in anywhere but their house your house or any one's house DO IT. the last you want is that sister-in-law you can't stand having mother's china in her garage. put it in a storage facility. use a key lock not a combinations lock. you will have enough to remember trust me. if at all possible do this when you are moving them to wherever it has been decided they will now live. if you have power of attorney, just put the stuff in storage and don't worry about it. if someone wants to start in about it remind them this has already been decided and everyone has to live with the decision.

now about money. make no mistake it is expensive to take care of someone no matter what their condition. everything goes up. your utilities,grocery bill, everything. if your loved one has a checking account, you need to be on it. this is hard. you want to keep good records of how you spend their money. even if the only reason is to let them know where their money is going. if you are financially able to take care of them without the use of their money, then so much the better. if not, take care of this as soon as possible. if you are sharing the care giving with someone else, get an account that requires BOTH signatures. this will alleviate a lot of questions later. use the money only for them or to help with some bill that has risen due to their care. if there is only you, get an account that is POD with both of you on it. this is a Point of Death account. i think that is self explanatory.

i know this isn't easy for anyone. but if you are able to take care of this early, you will be much better off mentally. care giving takes it toll on you in ways you cannot imagine. for your own sanity bite the bullet and talk to the people you have to talk to no matter what the past relationship is. remember this is not for you it is for the person you love and that has to be the most important person for the moment.


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