Baby boomers our actions will affect our loved ones

April 28, 2008 by  
Filed under Archives, News

My 80 year old father had a heart attack last Saturday. He had angioplasty and then acted as though nothing happened. It was like he had some illness and it got cured. He is overweight, fairly immobile from lack of exercise, overeating, and he does not seem to get it. It is not so much that he does not get that he could have died. What bothers me is that what he does from now on will determine my fate as a caregiver as he and my mother age. They have not exercised for years and years. They are both close to or over 200lbs. They both have bad backs and attitudes. They are in denial about their age and so they have not had those discussions with my brother and I that are necessary to carry out their wishes. We have no idea who has the medical power of attorney. We have no idea what their dying wishes are about a funeral or cremation. I know they want to be as independent as possible. I know they do not want to be a burden as they age. But, unless things change, they will leave us in a position where we will have to guess and maybe argue over what we think they would want.

Those of us in our 50’s and 60’s owe it to the ones we love to try and take care of ourselves so that they do not have to be caregivers for us because we have not taken care of ourselves. We owe it to them to make a will or trust and make sure that those executing such documents know our wishes so they do not have to guess. My parents will need care because they have not taken care of themselves. They will be of sound mind but not be able to move around, clean, or take care of one another because they are both in bad physical health. I will take care of them when they need it. I will not resent it but I will make sure that my sons or other loved ones do not have to take care of me because I did not consider that my actions now and in the future will have a major effect on those I love in the years to come.

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