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Overall my visit went well, as far as getting things done for Mom. We got her tax stuff turned in. We had to stop at her bank first because she was missing some stuff (she claimed it never came in the mail - who knows?!) but the bank was very obliging in printing some stuff out for us. We ordered her some checks, and we got her some cash. Then we drove to the town 40 miles away to turn the tax stuff in. I asked them to mail it all to mom for her signatures. They do file electronically, but they told me Mom had to sign stuff FIRST and return to them, before they could file it electronically. So -- whatever -- I'm not going to make it back down there in the next few weeks, so they will have to mail it to her, and she will have to mail it back.
If she messes it up, oh well. Shrug! She will have to call my older brother to sort it out since he lives 30 miles from her. I can't afford to go back down there before April 15. I spent close to $90 in gas by the time I ran all around to get her groceries, and do errands. (WAH!)
These are the times when I wish I did not have a drivers license!
I took a gander at Mom's electric bill while she wasn't looking. Yes, she owes them quite heavily. I was talking to her on the phone after I got back home (5 hour drive home, due to flooding here in Ohio, and just yucky windy rainy weather in general -- highways were kind of 'iffy') -- and while on the phone, Mom told me a guy from the electric company stopped at her house. That figures! Right after I left!
He wanted to find out if there was some 'issue' at her house, as they noticed her electric usage jumped dramatically. She told them she switched from an oil furnace to an electric furnace. I guess he did not say anything to her about the bill. That is probably the Billing Department's job! I also took a gander at her checkbook, she sent them $350 recently (assuming she put it in the mailbox!!), so that may appease them for awhile. But probably not for long. Her electric bill is about $400 a month this Winter. Oh well. She just doesn't comprehend it yet.
Since she won't do auto pay (I tried bringing that up again) and she won't let me handle her bills, it's her problem now. I've washed my hands of it.
Most importantly: I GOT THE HOTEL ROOM!!! It was wonderful. I woke up yesterday morning feeling so refreshed, I had some coffee, I took a nice long hot shower!!! What a concept. I really need to find something more affordable down there though. Maybe this summer. Mom didn't say much to me when I told her I was going to stay the night in a hotel. I sort of fibbed. I told her I had some frequent flier miles I had to use, or I would lose them. WHOOOOPS. I'll pay for that one. She said "well maybe if you do it the next time, I'll come and stay with you there!" WHY? I don't know! Grrrrrrr! I don't think that will be happening!!
When I got to Mom's I noticed that there was all sorts of crap piled on my bed there, since I hadn't been to visit for about three months. What the heck? I figure, if you want someone to stay at your house, at least clear the bed for them. So I said 'screw it, I'm getting the hotel room.' I have no patience anymore.
So I did manage to get Mom out a bit, but she didn't want to go to the Dollar store. She was too tired, from standing at the bank (for about 10 minutes) waiting for them to figure out the tax stuff! This is the same lady who says "I'm getting so much better! My leg is almost healed!". Right. But in her defense, it was a yucky, rainy, cool, windy day - not much incentive to do a lot of shopping. I got drenched standing at the car, waiting for her to get in, then walking sloooooooooowly up to the bank, then walking slooooooooowly back to the car. It's not that I expect her to walk quickly, it's just that I'm getting DRENCHED! I should have worn my jacket with the hood.
So I'm feeling a little under the weather now, but it will pass. We had lunch in the car, in the park. She was very complaining and kind of negative the whole visit, (as usual), but this time I just put it down to the Winter blues. She is really sick of winter, as we all are. At one point she did say "I'm complaining a lot, aren't I? I better stop that, or you won't want to come down." HMMMM. Do ya think? Well at least she recognized it. But of course the complaining started right up again.
Everything is VERY REPETITIVE now. Everything. Anything she says, now gets repeated about 10 times. I know she can't help it. But it's tiring and draining to have to put that frozen smile on my face and keep saying the same response to her over and over.
So that is done for another month, maybe two! I did not treat myself when coming back home, as I wanted to get home out of the weather. I figured I treated myself with that hotel room. That was so nice. I need to win the lottery!
I couldn't believe how high all the little streams and rivers were though -- most of them right up to the bottom of the bridges - wow!! I'm glad I'm home.
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p.s. Mom was looking old this time. I think it's because she's been cooped up all winter. But definitely looking old.
She saw someone at the bank she used to work with (she used to work for that bank). They asked her how she was doing and she said "I broke my leg!" so they asked her "Oh that's a shame, when did that happen?" so Mom looks over at me and I politically-correctly said "Oh a couple of years ago." It was actually two and a half years ago. The ladies looked confused - like - you broke your leg two years ago and you're still limping around, saying you broke your leg?!
Anyways -- we changed the subject! Quickly. Too funny.
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daughter~I thought about you and your trip to mom's. That was a great idea to get the room
Do you think she'll really want to stay in the hotel next time? Thats quite a drive for you, 5 hours wears me out these days. We used to go to the ocean but any beach we go to is at least 5 hours away so we don't go. How long does it usually take you without the bad weather? The repetitive stuff is very disturbing isnt it. Comes with age I guess. My moms 72 and just the other day she was here and the things she told me that day she repeated 2 days later on the phone. I guess we'll get that way too I've been saying to her lately "you told me that already" maybe its mean of me, but like you it gets real old acting like you never heard it before Hey and fibbing is ok, it saves our sanity now and then. I do it more often now. Your a great daughter. You take good care of your mom. My mom complains constantly and says the world is crazy. I'm thinking maybe its just her Shes an N mom and doesnt see beyond her own ideas. Its good that your mom recognized her complaining to much. I bet she was worried you'd never come back. Hope your feeling better. Easy to get run down and catch something. Just the stress of things can weaken our systems and put us under the weather and you had a very busy couple of days. (((((((((Hugs)))))))))
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Hi Beth, I'm glad you had a safe trip and enjoyed your hotel stay. It sounds like your mission was successful and mom is taken care of, for a few more weeks, at least! I think it's rather nice that your mom realizes when she complains and understands that complaining can make a visit miserable!(even if she begins again!) My dad never realizes he is complaining and if I bring it to his attention, he says he is not complaining and is merely making conversation! I suppose that nothing good ever happens to you when you get old and life sucks all the time! That's the impression that I get from my dad anyway! ~OK~
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another p.s. Remember when I predicted that the first thing my Mom would ask me (when I told her I was coming) was did I make her a hair appt at the salon? and it turned out, no, that wasn't the first thing, the first thing she asked was "While you are here, could you do some laundry at the laundromat for me?"
Well.... when I got there, I had time in the afternoon to do it, so I asked "You have stuff for the laundromat, Mom?" and she replied .... "No... I don't really have that much, just what I have on!"
yes, she is trying to drive me crazy, but I tell you: It Won't Work!
so I didn't go to the laundromat. Heeee. I don't think I would have anyways, with that nasty rain. I'll do it on a nice sunny day. Later. Someday. In May!
Jane in MA
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I just had my mother's taxes done for her, too. They were also filed electronically. But first I had to sign some papers ahead of time for the tax preparer that gave them the right to file for us, using my mother's SS# as a 'signature" . Then I suppose they either send the signed form on to IRS or keep it on file as proof. Anyway, that was it. No further signature was required after the taxes were submitted. Mom owed a bit to the feds and I just sent a check with a short filing paper that the CPA sent with the instructions on how to make out the check. Mom is getting something back from the state.. and I had to do nothing there.In fact, I just got her money back in the mail from the state today! fast! So don't worry. You are probably not going to have to make a long trip again... for her taxes, anyway. See, these are the duties that never end, even after they are in a nursing home. Jane
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Thank you so much for that info. I wonder why the lady at Mom's accountant place did not tell me all this about the signatures or using the SS#?! Because I specifically asked "is there any way she can sign beforehand, or whatever, so that she doesn't have to come back to sign??"
I will definitely keep what you said in mind next year. Mom never has to pay taxes. She always gets something back - why? I am not sure why! But for some reason she does. Maybe she pays too much tax on her IRA when it is distributed, who knows.
I have POA but since the IRS doesn't recognize that, I'm sure it doesn't matter. Do you have that extra form set up with the IRS that allows you to sign the tax stuff for your mother? Just curious.
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Welcome back, Beth. Glad you're safe and sound.
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Beth, Welcome Home!!! I'm glad you were able to stay in a hotel. Although you still had a great deal of work w/mom, you were able to pamper yourself a little. By pampering I mean someone else made the bed and brought fresh towels and NEW SOAP!!! It doesn't take a lot to excite me anymore...but that's a good thing (OOoooowwww that's a Martha Stewart Phrase).
I had to take my mothers taxes to the accountant too. I'm responsible for dads business taxes as well. I really don't know how I know to do what I'm doing...I think I have a little guidance from upstairs. It's strange, the person they had used for years and years met with me in Nov. and I just didn't have that feeling of, I tried to talk w/ mom about this and she said it was up to me which means if there is a screw-up, it's your fault. I forced her to make a decision. She switched accountants. The new one is saving her over 25%!!!! Know what mom said??? I bet she'll charge more for her services that *****(NEGATIVE MOMMA). I simply said yep. Ha Ha Ha oh, well. this is right. I went by the cemetery to sit at my dads site for a minute the other day. As I was wiping away some dirt and emptying rain water from the flower vase I couldn't help but laugh and I said out loud "thanks for warning me about all this stuff w/mom"...I could just hear him say, would you have been helping her through all this had you known??? Who knows. Have a wonderful Easter!!! BD
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thanks to all for the Welcome Back!
Madalyn, it's normally a four hour drive. It took longer cuz of the weather and such.
Yes I think my Mom was truly serious about going and staying with me in the hotel next time. I don't think that is going to happen! If it does, I'm going to unplug the TV when she's not looking and say "What a shame Mom. The TV doesn't work!" cuz I know she would turn it on instantly, start going through the channels,and have it on full volume. I would go running from the hotel! Then I would go stay at her house!
Yeah it's good that Mom realizes she's complaining a lot. I know a lot of elderlies do what your dad does, Kathy and say "I'm just expressing myself!" Right.
BD, you're right. If our fathers had clued us in, completely, we might have walked away from their funerals, and never come back. I help Mom for two reasons - I feel sorry for her (sometimes) and I know it is what my Dad would want me to do. When I get to heaven (HA!) I want to feel him wrap his arms around me and say "You did good, daughter." I miss him.
Keep up the good work - all of you! Sue, I hear ya. How do we quit???
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"I help Mom for two reasons - I feel sorry for her (sometimes) and I know it is what my Dad would want me to do. When I get to heaven (HA!) I want to feel him wrap his arms around me and say "You did good, daughter." I miss him." Beth, my sentiments exactly. I don't know if my dad would approve of me or not. In one sense, my mother is getting excellent care. She's home where she wants to be. I can't do more than that. On the other hand, my father would definitely not approve of my attitude, my resentment, my anger, and my (growing) hatred. I'm quite sure of that. I really want to quit. Legally I can. But then what happens to my mother? My brother has these grand ideas of keeping her "comfortable in her old age." Great. Wonderful. But guess who's handling the nuts and bolts of what that really means? That would be me. He doesn't even open his ******* mail. Forget about paying bills on time, seeing to repairs to the house, keeping up with care issues, filing her taxes (hours and hours and hours of my time with endless piles of paper). If he really had to do it, I'm worried that it would all fall apart. One of my biggest regrets is that I pressured my mother into making a power of attorney. If she hadn't done that, well who knows? (Probably would have been even worse.) Anyway, I'm so glad you're back. Sue
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Daughter, I was thrilled to hear that you got to stay in a hotel room. How neat! Glad that made the trip better for you. Molly-TX
Jane in MA
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Beth, Another thing with the tax people and signatures...
Why should you have to drive her all the way to the tax office to sign anything!? They can mail her the signature forms which can then be signed and mailed back! I am my mother's Durable POA, so whenever someone needs her signature and I can't get it to her to do it, I sign it for her and write next to my signature "POA for "mother's name"". It should suffice. It has to. What do they do with all the folks who suffer from Alzheimer's and cannot sign at all? If I can, I prefer to get her to sign, though. It makes her feel like she is still a part of things. My mother always has to pay Federal taxes because she gets a small monthly stipend from her former boss since she retired.. sort of a pension, but it's not called that. He does not take out taxes but then her reports it to the IRS, which stinks. Jane
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Beth - So glad that you are home safely! I have been worried about you traveling during the flooding in OH - my first thought when I saw the news was ,"Uh-oh! Beth is on the road in this mess!" This has been SOME winter for you all, huh?! Try to rest up and stay dry over the holiday weekend. Pretend you are back in that hotel!
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thank you Molly and jeanine - yeah I was wondering if it was a wise idea to take all my little back roads through Ohio to get back home!! But I lucked out, there were no detours. Amazing how much flooding though. Now in the summer, is it going to be all hot and dry and parched again?!
Sue I think your father would approve. You are doing everything you can, to help your mother. Since she doesn't know you anymore, visiting would just upset her now, you know?? Or maybe get her agitated.
there are times when I think "I have to do all this for Mom, I can't leave it up to older brother to do it, he will put it off, forget, mess it up..." and then I think - so what?? It will be HIS problem to deal with. I'll just do what he does and shrug my shoulders and say 'so?'.
I know what you mean though. Right now, Mom is pretty 'with it', so I don't want her to go through the turmoil of relying on my brother to do this stuff. But down the road, who knows. Maybe I can resign, and he can take over. At that point, Mom won't know what is going on anyways and if he messed stuff up, oh well. His problem. Mom wouldn't be aggravated because she wouldn't know by then, and most stuff would be taken care of. I wish we all had crystal balls, that's for sure.
Jane, that is what the accountants are going to do -- send the stuff to mom in the mail, and she will mail it back. Normally I don't do that, only because sometimes Mom messes stuff up. Or she misplaces stuff. So I drive down as sort of preventative maintenance! Because if it gets done right in the first place, it doesn't become an even bigger headache! Last year mom misplaced her auto and home insurance bills, and her insurance expired. We had to do all the mumbo jumbo to get it started up again. It was annoying. So I try to avoid those situations if I can, by driving down and making sure everything happens the way it should.
But due to price of gas, this year I had to say "Mail them to Mom, I'm not going to be back down!!" We'll see. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Her house is a mess. There is a foot of stuff piled on her kitchen table now. a FOOT deep. My goodness.