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Do your parents have a Living Will?


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Anybody else dealing with all this stuff?

olga

Yep.  I'm finishing up my Advanced Directive and Living Trust papers now. I have a life long friend who has agreed to be my proxy for the AD. She knows my wishes, as do my mother, son and brothers. My son and I have talked at length about what he wants in the event, oh god it makes me shake just to write it down, he is beyond revival or dead.

I have tried to have the same conversation with my mother, but no go. She won't touch it. I have tried to gently bring up the subject of what she wants in the event of her death; she is 75 after all, and has smoked and drank with the big dogs since she was just a pup. Her only answer was "do what you want, I'll be beyond caring." Gosh, thanks, Mom, for thinking about how your children might like to know your wishes for their peace of mind and desire to honor your memory.

My dad remarried so those decisions are his and hers to make.

A good friend died of cancer last year. He had enough good months left after his diagnosis to take special vacations with friends, go through years and years worth of pictures, talk, write, and fly a real WWII plane - a dream he'd had ever since he started playing an online realtime WWII simulator game. He also planned his own service. He did it like it was his last party with friends. He did it with love and respect for those who loved him.

So, between that unwanted but beautiful lesson from a friend and the whole Terri Schiavo fiasco, I have finally gotten off my ass and gotten this stuff done.

Greeny

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Greeny:

Your friend did it right.

My mother wrote a Living Will years ago and handed out 8 copies of it.....no arguments around HER hospital bed.  She appointed her executors (my siblings), her medical proxy (me) and told us all where her important papers were.  (All together in a metal box.)

We all hated to lose her, but she certainly left her loose ends all tied up.  Now I have to do what YOU have done!

olga

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Several years ago my parents, who are now 70, sat down with a lawyer and upadted their will. Their prior will was done before I was born (I'm 41 now!) They have very detailed orders of what they want done in event of a long term illness, neither wants any heroic efforts made to save their lives (DNR orders). They stipulated how each other will be taken care of financially should one die before the other. If both die at the same time or upon event of their deaths they have already made arrangments for financial distrubution to their children and grandchildren. They have both declared that their bodies should be given to the state's Medical University for study and have stated that only their eyes may be used for organ donation. I do not know about my mother but I do know exactly how my father wants his memorial service planned.

They sent all of their daughters copies of all the papers and the number of their safe deposut box and its location. I am the youngest of the four and I have been placed in charged of making sure their orders are carried out; I have been named as their medical proxy and as the executor of their estate. They named me without asking me first. I wish they would have asked me first. I have no problem carrying out any medical orders because they have specific instrutions and I know that this is what they want. I just wish I would have found this out before I received the documents in the mail. They asked my sisters and I to make a list of their belongings that we would like to have. In event of a tie, two or more of us requesting any of their material goods, they will "play" the tie breakers. Once they receive a list they will add these intructions to their will. I have no problem with any of this. I do not find it gruesome like another sister or two did. I just hope my role as their representative does not turn into any ugly battles with my sisters after my parents have died.

As for myself I need to make a living will. My partner does know what type of psychiatric care I want and do not want (e.g. No ECT - it may be OK for some folks, I just don't want the procedure). We always make sure we know exactly which medications and dosages of psych meds we taking and keep this up to date. I am an organ donor on my driver's license but I know that my wishes may not be carried out until I have a living will in place. So, I need to take my parent's advice and look to their example and get everything in ink. My maternal grandparents and my paternal grandmother all donated their bodies to medical science. It seems to be a family thing.

Erika

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I don't talk to my mother or sister

rarely my brother

if I get the choice I'll

crawl off into the brush and rot

surprize some hiker ;)

Seriously,what my family does is up to them,

I'm not involved

My wife knows what to do

and me for her

I'll start thinking about it again

Stasis

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Okay Stasis--let me play devil's advocate.

Let's suppose that (heaven forbid) you and your wife are in an accident together and unconscious, but not dead.  That's the point of medical proxies and Living Wills---if she's not able to make the decisions for you, there should be a back-up person.  And ditto if you can't make the decisions for her.

I'm not saying I've done it.....and I should, because I've seen enough situations in the last couple of years to make my hair curl.  (And it's frizzy enough, already!).  If you don't like your family members, you can appoint a friend to be your proxy.

Just stuff to think about....

olga

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