Readers Respond: Plight of caring for aging parents touched many

My 82 year old mother had a fall out of bed this past February. She was taken to Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. where she was found to be bleeding on the brain and from the kidneys. She went into a coma for 3 days, had to be placed on life support, and had a direct line put in her chest to replace the 1/2 of her blood she had lost. After GT had done everything they could medically she was transferred to Mt. Vernon Rehab Hospital to learn how to walk again and feed herself. On 5 April of this year when she was discharged from Mt. Vernon I was advised to place her in a nursing home because of her cognative state, she would need 24 hour care. Mom has Blue Cross/Blue Shield FEP and Medicare Plan B. After visiting 3 nursing homes in Northern Virginia, I couldn't place her because I was afraid that she would take a rapid decline in health and not live long. I brought her home to live with me and my wife. We have had to ensure some abuse because of her demensia. I had a caretaker with her during the day while the wife and I were at work but Mom hated her and believed she was part of a hit man team that wanted to kill her. I had surveillance cameras installed at stratigic points in the house to ensure that if she fell she would not lay there all day until we got home. I had to tell her that they were smoke detectors and she would have been paronoid about them. I ask God every night to give my wife and I the strength to endure her abuse and have found that people such as my Mom, hurt the ones closest to them. People say, don't let it bother you but it is hurtful for your mother to think that you are stealing her money. I would encourage everyone to get a Power of Attorney for Financial Matters while your parents are healthy so that you can be added onto their bank account and continue to pay their bills for them. Bank of America told me that 95% of the people that have a parent that this happens to can not be added onto their parents bank account and the account just stays dormant until the family has gone thru the court system with a lengthy and expensive process. Anyone having any advise please email me at RAYMOND.S.BURNS@saic.com.

marysrn wrote:

I was divorced with a young child when my mother came to live with me. She was a widow who never tried to change her way of "living the good life". Consequently, she went broke. She was always rather frail, and it became certain that she would not be able to live alone. I worked full time, she looked after my child. She lived in MY house, rent free, paid nothing, and DEMANDED I pay her for babysitting after my child got home from school. The arguments about money, raising my child, what I did with my very little spare time were awful. Years after she came to my house, she was really quite ill and needed pretty much full time care. By then my kid was a teenager and some of the burden fell on him, such as seeing to it that she ate what was prepared for her. Needless to say, it wasn't a happy home, and now that my kid is in his 40's, he still is very cool to me. I can see now why. He was my only child, I have no one else, savings were gone long ago, and he knows that there is a possibility(probability) I will become dependent on him. Guess how I feel—I'll tell you—scared and resentful.

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