Marilyn from California

July 2018 my best friend who was 45 years old suffered a severe accident and was hospitalized for about 20 days in the burn unit about 60 miles or so away. He is divorced with two daughters both living out of state. I arrived first at the hospital after he was helicoptered in from the small mountain town he lives in. He had spoken to me about the dangers of his job and what his wishes would be if something should happen to him. His parents cut their vacation short and arrived two days later. His mom's first words to me were "where's his will and who's in charge." I told the hospital I was his partner and had power of attorney. My friend had given me an envelope containing all the information I would need in and event like this. His mom bullied me each day. How much money did he make, what are his assets, asking me to go drive up the mountain and get his paperwork including work contracts. When I didn't comply, she flew in his daughter from out of state. She sent her to his home about a two hour drive away, to get what she needed. The next-door neighbor called me to say a person was crawling in the house through the doggie door. It was his daughter. She rummaged through and found nothing. After his complete recovery his family left him a complete mess. We both learned the importance of having a medical directive, power of attorney, and the hard discussions we all must have with one another.

Share Your Caregiving Story Here


+ Tips for sharing your story

This is an update to my family caregiving story that I have already shared.

Only one story submission per person and/or per household will be accepted.

I also agree that, only when necessary, AARP or its representative may call me with requests for information, as needed to verify my story.

By clicking “Share Your Story”, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to the terms and conditions of AARP’s Release Agreement and agree to receive emails about AARP activities, events, and membership benefits.