When my parents had their licenses revoked, their first action was to demand retesting. Today was slated to be the retest day. I picked up my parents at 6:45 a.m. My mom was convinced, and convinced my dad it was for a physical, so they didn’t eat anything. My mom was in a horrible mood.
My dad was to see one doctor, while my mom saw another. They call for my dad first and suggest I go with my mom and then, when they are ready, they will have me sit in with my dad.
By the time we get into to see the doctor, my mom is in a better mood. We are asked if we have questions. My mom’s still confused, so I ask the doctor to help us understand what the testing my mom had already means, and if retesting even makes sense. We’d like to know what type of dementia she has – that is a pretty vague term.
I’m told she has mixed dementia, some is caused by her stroke, but in looking at her testing and sitting with her, the doctor says she also exhibits some Alzheimer’s type behaviors. Still kinda vague right?
In the midst of this, my mom turns to me and asks me why I haven’t discussed this with her. I tell her we have discussed this many times and the reason I’m concerned is that she doesn’t remember.
The doctor asks me why I am focused on the diagnosis and I tell her that my parents still choose to ignore the prior three doctor recommendations, or accept the concern of their four children. We are concerned for their safety and financial well-being. I tell her the prior doctors have recommended they turn over the checkbook and that we pursue obtaining legal guardianship. As I say those two words, I choke up and start to cry.
Who wants to sue their parents?
My mom sits up straight and is surprised. I am not a crier. She turns to me and says she would love for me to take over the finances.
I’ve heard this before. She won’t remember this and will go back to trying to manage to pay bills and keep their independence. I understand that need.
Looking back. I’m not sure why this made me cry. Was it having to say it in front of my mom knowing that would be hurtful? Or was it much more selfish because I’m frightened that the apple doesn’t fall that far from the tree and this will be me in 30 years. Horrified.