The last few months have been busy caring for my rapidly ailing in-laws, and it is leaving little time for us to do much else, let alone look for work, travel beyond an overnight trip, work on our own garden and home maintenance projects, or – for me – no opportunity to even get out with my camera to complete some challenges in my photography course.
This last week, my in-laws Wills and POAs were updated and finalised; of course, my husband did everything, organised the lawyer, provided the drafts, talked it through with them, etc, based on his parents’ wishes.
With my MIL ailing over the last few months (she’s 94, and went through a course of chemotherapy!), we have been at least part-time carers, thinking of things they don’t think about (the chemotherapy affected MILs mental ability(, or don’t see (my FIL is going blind), and doing as much as we can without taking away their independence.
As a result, the issue of who will care for us in our old age hovers over me, although I try not to ask that question, as I’ve accepted that there will be no-one in particular we can rely on; though I hope one or two of my nieces might still be in the country.
Once again though, it is a reminder that we will need to get organised early, and live in an environment with plenty of support. We won’t have the luxury of leaving our decisions until we are in our 90s, when ultimately someone else has to make the hard calls. But in retrospect, watching my in-laws, I don’t think that is at all luxurious, or lucky.
Making positive decisions for our own personal care and welfare when we are younger and more lucid will mean that when we are elderly and vulnerable, we should already be somewhere we are comfortable (physically and emotionally) and don’t have to worry over decisions we are no longer capable of making. Maybe there are advantages to knowing that we have to do it all ourselves?