Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Seeking help from my elders

My mother is one of 1/2 a dozen kids my grandparents had.
Grandpa died early, before I was born.
Grandma lived into her 90s.
My grandparents were black Carolina sharecroppers.

My mother in law (MIL) who we are trying to help and care for is none of these, a white woman with a teacher's pension, and two dead husbands.

Grandma's daughters got the hell away from her because Grandma was a difficult woman. Her sons, after doing the war (Vietnam) came back to the area and helped watch over her after her second husband died. Growing up I knew Uncle G and Uncle W handled her day to day affairs and took care of their mother, my grandmother. For 20 years she lived in subsidized senior housing and then after a fall and other health problems went into rehab and died.

Telling Uncle G of our situation and asking how he cared for "Mother" it seems they kept it simple. He had no idea if one of the other kids had a Power of Attorney. He assumed Aunt J had it, no when I called her to confirm what Uncle G said. He handled "Mother's" bills from an account that was in his name only and it helped that grandma had no money as a poor retired sharecropper. He and his brother got her to the doctor and checked in on her. Despite grandma being a difficult person who I don't think was all there..... but then I am probably being classist and an educated snob against her, getting things done was a matter of just getting her to agree. How did she get out of the apartment and into rehab? Uncle G claims grandma was talked into it and one of the aunts handled the paperwork. I just have to figure out which aunt because Aunt J says she didn't have POA or was that involved, but then again Aunt J has a selective memory.  I'm discovering all the girls have "selective memories" even my mother.

If I were to use my Uncle's way of care as a model my DH would have to believe his mother could do more. Yes there is plenty she can't do with her various conditions but she can technically still sign things.  However we have the problem of her being on the other side of the country. We might have to talk about bringing her here.

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