Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Enough Is Enough

Posting has been nonexistent lately. I have power of attorney for my 94 year old aunt, who's in a nursing home with end-stage Alzheimer's. We've reached the point where there are calls from the nursing home at all hours of the day and night. I understand they have to protect themselves from liability. I'm sure there have been cases where family members previously stipulated "comfort care" only, then freaked out after the patient finally died and threatened to sue. But this crap is getting old.

She has come full circle, back to a state of existence worse than infancy: diapered, unable to turn over, unable to feed herself, unresponsive and unaware of her surroundings, making only random inarticulate sounds. She aspirates her own saliva. Were I in that state, I would not want to live. Going through this debacle has made me ensure I have the necessary paperwork on file to prevent it.

Her funeral arrangements are all prepaid under an irrevocable trust, so there won't be any expenses. There are, however, a huge amount of other people's expectations. I want nothing to do with any of them. I don't want to hover anxiously by her bedside. I don't want to have to manage and attend a funeral. I just want this over. I want her gone from my life, for good.

She was a thoroughly nasty person long before she had Alzheimer's as an excuse. Any time things didn't go her way she would throw tantrums worthy of the most spoiled two-year-old, screaming, throwing things, slamming doors. She spit on me on multiple occasions. About the only toddler ploy she didn't try was holding her breath until she turned blue. Her nickname among the staff at the local hospital before she lost the ability to terrorize everyone around her was "Cruella De Vil" and trust me, she deserved it.

Nobody else would step up to manage her affairs. For the last eleven years, I've filled out her paperwork, paid her bills, and untangled her Medicaid benefits when HHS messed them up. For this I have taken no compensation, despite my lawyer telling me I should. Every dime she had, including her serious six-figure inheritance from her sister (my mother), has gone to her care and upkeep.

My whole life has been cleaning up my family's mess. She's the last of them. I'm more than ready to be free of these people.


Guffaw in AZ said...

My step-mother just passed. And, she'd been out of it for some time. Bye the grace of the gods, I didn't have to deal with it, or her. People asked me if I mourned. I did, not for the abusive harpy she was, but for what should have been.

eriko said...

My mother died of stroke a couple years ago after retiring to mexico. Here is the phrase I learned for those with other expectations of what I should do.

"That's a lovely idea, why don't you arrange it."

It shuts them up on the spot.

My other suggestion is that the greedy creeps will appear like magic when she dies. It seems like you have every thing ready to be wrapped up quick which is good.

Hecate said...

I already dealt with the greedy creeps after my mother died at the end of 1999. Like the kinda-cousin who wanted their next-door neighbor to let her into their house so she could steal my aunt's jewelry and china.

Ruth said...

Good luck, my parents ended up having to manage all of my dad's mothers everything, from moving her into the nursing home (from halfway across the country) to the funeral arrangements when she died without a penny or ounce of asisstance from his older brother, who was, of course, executor of her estate. Thankfully she was a much nicer person before her mind went.

Willorith said...

I often think the old way was better. Set them out in the woods in the evening. In the morning they are gone. This technique requires the cooperation of wolves.
I would much rather be eaten by wolves than drown in my own slobber.
We humans are strange beasts.

Aanoosh said...

Sorry to hear of your difficulties. My mom passed after a long bout of Alzheimer's, and it was very trying on the family to say the least. Please try to find some joy in each and every day, and remember that all trials in life will eventually pass. I'd recommend hugging Milton a lot. Hugging my guys helps me get through most everything in life.


Brigid said...

I am so sorry you have to deal with this. I never blogged about it, but my stepmom had advanced alzheimers before she died suddenly of pneumonia, otherwise healthy. She had been the kindest sweetest, funniest woman, and was a mom to me for over 20 years. To watch her change into someone else was hard.

Hang in there. You have more strength than we know.

Anonymous said...

this true

nco fin 22 said...

You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.

John said...

Willorith, those were the very old days. lol Less than 100 years ago, most families took care of their elders, disabled, etc. at home with as much compassion as they hoped would be given them in their end days. Not much compassion to be had these days. I have 5 kids. Wonder if any will want to be around me when I am dying, except for the inheritance. Times have changed, yes indeed.