I am Japanese-American by birth and culture. We don’t stick our old people in some random facility when they become “inconvenient” to care for. We are raised to believe that not only is it not an inconvenience, it’s an honor and privilege to care for them as they reach the end of their life’s journey.
So imagine how offended I was when our VA social worker told me it was my responsibility to start researching facilities now, as well as update all of our documents. Poor Virgil, he got the full brunt of my, ” we don’t need to do that, we just remodeled our house with a wheelchair accessible bathroom, ramps, etc. He very calmly listened to everything I had to say, and then said again that it was my responsibility to my 100% disabled Veteran with Parkinson’s disease that I find out what our options were BEFORE we needed them. His words still ring in my ears, “by the time you need it, it will be too late.”
And he is right. Like many of us, either adult children or aging seniors, we put off making these plans because they are incredibly unpleasant to think about or discuss. We wait until things are a crisis to make life decisions.
And since I’m not one to shirk responsibility, I quit pushing back and dutifully took notes of everything we needed to do. I procrastinated a few weeks before getting Dad’s Advanced Directive and Medical Power of Attorney updated (yucky conversation, let me tell ya). And while every fiber of my being wants to cancel or reschedule, I have an appointment tomorrow at the Veteran’s Home to do our homework and explore our options. Wish us luck.