Twenty-two years ago, my father lost his battle with cancer. I saw him wither away, that strong man who I looked up to as my role model became thin and frail. Being a doctor himself, my dad refused to believe he had cancer. He denied treatment, and held off for as long as he could. Eventually, he agreed to surgery and was in remission for over a year, until they found a metastatic tumor in his hips.
I was the one who took care of my dad. I was seven months pregnant with my second child then. I helped my dad with his baths and prepared his meals. I drove him to the hospital for his doctors appointments and I was with him during his chemotherapy sessions. Mom had to mind their small business to keep the finances flowing in. The family's focus was for my father to recover and to have enough to cover hospital bills and chemotherapy. In short, we had no planning done, and because of that, we were not prepared for what was bound to happen. After my father's death, we were at a loss. We did not know about his insurance, his benefits, and his legal right to the properties owned by my grandparents. We had to start from scratch. We were left with nothing.
My mom is now 76 years old. She's strong for her age. She attends an aerobics class for senior citizens every morning. She does ballroom dancing every Saturday and goes with her friends once or twice a month to go to the mall or watch a movie. Despite her "active" lifestyle, my mom has diabetes and has episodes of hyperthyroidism. Although everything is carefully monitored by regular visits to her endocrinologist, my mom is showing signs of forgetfulness. She walks to the nearby supermarket and forgets where she is and if she does know she is in the supermarket, she forgets why she is there in the first place. When she asks my brother to drive her down to her sister's place, she gets into an argument with my brother because she said he is going the wrong way. She sometimes has a hard time remembering people's names, but vividly remembers things she did when she was in her 20s.
It is always good to plan and prepare, however, it is a difficult task when it comes to planning for the inevitable. My mom has done some kind of preparation. She has fully paid her insurance to cover for funeral expenses. It still sends shivers down my spine, and although I know it is a good thing, I could not bring myself to do the same for me. Now, if she only remembered where she kept her documents...
I am happy to have found a simple way to start planning and preparing for my mom and for me as well. CareConversations.org has a complete guide on how to accomplish this task. It is all about providing peace of mind that our wishes will be met. It is not about wishing for a loved one's demise, it is giving them the freedom to name their beneficiaries, to give them a voice in deciding for the future and giving them the liberty to assign a person/persons to decide for them when they are unable to do so. With all these things in place, we provide our loved ones peace of mind that they will be getting the care they deserve.
My mom has a bit of a hearing impairment and I know it will be a bit "loud" when we discuss these things with her. Me and my siblings have been planning to sit down and talk about this for quite sometime, but our busy schedules always get in the way. Sometime soon we will. This will just be a little thing we can do for the mother who reared us to who we are today.
If you care for your aging loved one, now is the best time to think about Planning and Preparing. To help provide answers to the numerous questions you have in mind, a #CareConvo Twitter Party will be held on the 12th of November at 8pm EST. This is one event I am sure you would not want to miss. You are free to ask questions, share your story and connect with like-minded people. Click on this RSVP link below to join:
The picture above is my beautiful mom through the years - During her college graduation, then at 50 years old, and now at 76 years old. She is still lovely despite the wrinkled skin and thinning hair. She gave me and my siblings all the best life could offer. She too, deserves all the same and more.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Global Influence. I have been compensated for my time.