My mom stopped liking her favorite foods and my dad stopped joking around. Some changes were subtle while others were so overwhelming and no one else seemed to notice — then a dear friend suggested I start to mourn the loss of my parents. Gut-punched.
My siblings and I worked together to help our parents maintain their independence while keeping them (and others) safe. As they moved through varying stages of memory loss and dementia, it got harder day by day. My siblings visited, called and wrote regularly. They would come in to help with household projects and take them to the doctor. I’m not alone, just the first line of defense and the only one that was local.
I stepped in first to be my parents advocate and manage their bill payments. We started to face the fact that my parents have no real idea where their money and investment accounts were or how to access them. Even with estate plans and a financial adviser, there was not one single road map to my parents assets. We needed that information to help pay for their care. One of the first things I started to do was to create a system to organize all of the information so I could keep access it, as well as shared it with my siblings when they came to town to give me a break from caregiving.
Solving these problems and facing the real issues led me to start this blog, as well as launch my business www.MemoryBanc.com.
I’ve learned a lot, but have a lot more to learn. I hope you will share with me (and the other readers) what you have done and how you have dealt with some of the same situations.