Senior’s Family Can Not Agree!

by francy Dickinson     

Dear Francy; I am just at the end of my rope – my brother disagrees with almost all of the care plan and insists on things that mother did not want to do. What can I do and still keep the family ties?

Well first, I trust you have your mother’s power of attorney and medical health care directive done. If not get it done today.I am not kidding. You can get the paperwork at Office Depot but I like to use the Broderbund software called Family Law. It will take you through the step by steps and then you need to get two other people to sign as witnesses. If you mother is unclear of mind, you need to know it can be contested…so you need to make sure that both witnesses will write a small note to go along with the paperwork that states (the lines below) and then have them sign this extra piece of paper also.

>> I have witnesses the signing of a Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive with –Your mother’s name –. She seems of right mind and understood the information as we talked to her. I feel she is able to make this legal commitment this –day and date here — <<

Signed __________________                       Date: ______________

Now, that does not mean that you would not have a problem, it could be contested and so on, anyone willing to hire an attorney could get what ever they wanted I suppose. But what it does tell the parties that might be involved legally, is that you took steps to make sure your mother was clear on what she was signing and you listened to her desires on her medical and legal care.  Then all the paperwork, including your signature and your mother’s signature (which might be rough, but if it has a witness even an X can mark her name) Then you take her, you and all the paper work to the bank or reality office and get it notarized. Then you make copes for all of the doctors and have a couple for hospital visits. Keep the original one in a lock box or a file that you can find if you need it.

Now, the common sense. When I was keeping care of my mother and she was so unwell and she was living with us with no income other than a small social security check. Her medications alone were $1100 a month. Then there was all the rest, the special foods, the special products she needed like bladder control and daily protein drinks, and the rental of machines for her care and on and on. It was overwhelming and here I am not working so I can care for her.

To top that one off, a young member of the family, that loved my mother very much, had a chat with me. Telling me that they disapproved of using state funds for her care and that they wanted her to have full care in the hospital or care facility NO – do not resuscitate or feeding tube restrictions.

That went against my mother’s wishes for her medical care. Mother did not understand about the financial end, or she would have been sick with worry.  She did not know I asked the state to help us with her care. But she was interviewed each month by a case worker who constantly asked if she could do more for us and I only asked for help with things that I could not afford like her medications and such. Mother was so well cared for that I was hot with anger, over the the comments. I thought it all over and I did not want the family to have an argument. So, I decided to  just respond with a little statement that I sent out via email to about 16 family members. This is not the statement because it was years ago, but it’s the basics of the statement.

I want everyone one to know that mother is doing well this week. She is responding to medications and she is preparing for Easter with the family if she is strong enough. If not, I would appreciate you coming to visit her in the next couple of weeks.
I also want to inform you that I have mother’s Power of Attorney on health matters and she has filled out and had witnessed her own Health Care Directive and Funeral Plans. They were witnessed and notarized and so I have been following her wishes to outline her care plan.
Since mother is in her 90’s I’m sure you understand that she will be getting weaker and eventually pass. But I have a plan in place that lets me know how to give her care through emergency health challenges and I intend to follow it. I would appreciate it if you would honor that plan and know if you want quality time with mother, come and visit her while she is able to enjoy your visit. Thank you for your time on this matter.

So, there you go. You do not have to face one person, you can treat all of the family including siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins and grand children the same with a firm but friendly statement. Then make sure you present the Power of Attorney papers to all of her doctors and hospital at check in, so they know YOU…make the decisions. I would also tell the hospital that all decisions on your mother’s care are for your eyes only. That keeps the hospital in a privacy mode and they do not release information without your approval to anyone else.

Good luck, I know you can work through this bump. Just remember your love and time giving your mother care has great value. You have to express yourself assertively on her behalf. If you do not hold the power of attorney, it is time to make other arrangements for your mother. And allow the person with the power — figure out how to give care, pay for care and make decisions that are fair to all parties. Power of Attorneys may sound official and important, but I have found they represent a very serious responsibility that is often not pleasant.

Thank you for all you do for your mother, please do go and visit my website and get more informaiton on the daily care issues that we all face

Thank you, francy


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