One set of tasks I've kept putting off is everything related to finances and legalities. Mom and I had been talking about such things before her stroke, and were in the process of researching and gathering the necessary paperwork so it could all get done before the end of December. But her stroke was December 6. We had nothing ready. As next-of-kin I've been able to authorize medical decisions without any special arrangements. But everything else requires legal documents: general power of attorney, health care power of attorney, advance directives. Documents she is no longer able to understand or sign. We had discussed end-of-life issues long before, so I knew her general wishes in regard to DNRs and the like, and could pass those wishes on to her health care providers. But I was relieved when I finally found a signed living will among her scattered paperwork. It was several years old, but it expressed the same general wishes I had reported.
But now there are a lot of financial matters to arrange. I seem to be left with only one option, seeking guardianship of my mother. I researched this option when it was first suggested. It's a terrible process, involving serving papers to the afflicted person, appearances in court, having people tell the afflicted person they're being declared incompetent. I hoped we could avoid such a drastic, and hostile, ordeal. Mom's improvement in January made me hope that she would eventually be legally capable of giving me power of attorney. Maybe I was fooling myself, even if she had continued to improve. But she didn't. She got worse. And I've reached the end of the things I can do for my mom without power of attorney. So I'll be contacting a lawyer, one recommended by others in similar situations, to start the guardianship process.
I hate this.