Why would leave the end of my life story in someone else’s hands?

Sadly, I see this abdication every day as a practicing elder law attorney.

The son-in law calls because his wife and her three sisters can’t agree who should decide where Mom should go because she can’t take care of herself The sister handling the money is not named as her power of attorney and a third daughter wants to try to keep her at home.

My question, is Mom still competent?
None of this matters if Mom can tell us what she wants.

Much of my work involves conflict and confusion over legal documents and wrangling over issues that could have been resolved with better communication and a senior who had not left decisions regarding the last stage of their life up to others.

Many well intentioned advisors and family members forget that the older person is still here!
If they have lived long enough to become old, they have had a lifetime of experiences that have led them to this point. Unless they have severe cognitive issues, why not let them speak up for themselves?

This is like a form of abuse where the victim has become paralyzed to help themselves.
Our society has so devalued the elderly that we almost discourage them from exerting their will and making their own decisions about their life and money.

We are busy. Mom has to be discharged, so the caseworker talks with the daughter instead of the patient because we are in a hurry. Children call to discuss what should be “done” with Mom.

Why do we let this happen?

Why don’t we take more interest in directing the end of our own story?

It’s hard to negotiate a good way out of life. I will admit it.
Not many people let go of life easily. None of us wants to talk about needing help or dying.

But it is the final act of our show. It is too important to leave up to anyone else.

Why would leave the end of my life story in someone else’s hands?

Sadly, I see this abdication every day as a practicing elder law attorney.

The son-in law calls because his wife and her three sisters can’t agree who should decide where Mom should go because she can’t take care of herself The sister handling the money is not named as her power of attorney and a third daughter wants to try to keep her at home.

My question, is Mom still competent?
None of this matters if Mom can tell us what she wants.

Much of my work involves conflict and confusion about legal documents and wrangling over issues that could have been resolved with better communication and a senior who had not left decisions regarding the last stage of their life up to others.

Many well intentioned advisors and family members forget that the older person is still here!
If they have lived long enough to become old, they have had a lifetime of experience that has led them to this point. Unless they have severe cognitive issues, why not let them speak up for themselves?

This is like a form of abuse where the victim has become paralyzed to help themselves.
Our society has so devalued the elderly that we almost discourage them from exerting their will and making their own decisions about their life and money.

We are busy. Mom has to be discharged, so the caseworker talks with the daughter instead of the patient because we are in a hurry. Children call to discuss what should be “done” with Mom.

Why do we let this happen?

Why don’t we take more interest in directing the end of our own story?

It’s hard to negotiate a good way out of life. I will admit it.
Not many people let go of life easily. None of us wants to talk about needing help or dying.

But it is the final act of our show. It is too important to leave up to anyone else.