Friday, October 10, 2008

Between a rock and a hard place and slidin' into the weekend

I spent most of Wednesday at my mother's house. While I was there I made a great beef and vegetable soup. Unfortunately, I didn't get pictures of it but I'll post the recipe over the weekend. I'm off today and should have time to do that.

Right now I want to discuss something that is preying on my mind.

I went to Mom's house to help her clean and organize the house but we didn't get a lot of that done. What we did get done was some talking about a lot of things that needed to be discussed.

Mom is 73, Pop is a tad younger. Pop never had children and with him recently being told he has dementia and being put on Aricept, he seems to worry about what's going to happen to him. Who can blame him? But he has Mom and me and my three sisters and hopefully we'll be enough. At any rate, Mom and I talked about their finances, which are pretty dismal, and what my sisters and I can do to help. Now, one of my sisters lives about 150 miles away and the other is several states away. My youngest son just recently moved back to east Texas and the other is in Austin. I have a niece in Iowa and the rest of my nieces and nephews are around Dallas. So basically, my youngest son and I are the closest, physically, to Mom and Pop. That means that most of the things they need done, things like yard work, house cleaning, shopping, and such, will be up to us. I'm okay with that and so is my son. I know the others will help in whatever ways they can.

But I'm really struggling with my parents finances. In the last two months Mom and Pop have made at least two major bad decisions regarding finances. Neither of them have doomed them to a life of poverty but one decision led to them giving away several thousands of dollars and the other almost destroyed the credit they've worked 40 years to build. Neither of these decisions/actions is in character for Mom and this has me concerned. But my sisters and I can't just take their checkbooks and credit cards away. We can't stop them from giving money to whomever they choose. They are grown adults, they're still competent and independent so there isn't anything we can do, right?

I'm very concerned about these recent developments and haven't a clue just what to do about them. If you have experience with aging parents and/or dementia, please give me your insights on this.

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