As well spouses, many of us have been expected to take over the care of our partners. This expectation came early on for many of us, as our spouses abdicated control to us, medical staff directed their questions to us instead of the ill spouse, and neighbors and friends asked us how our wife was, even though she may have been sitting right there and was more than capable of answering the question. And so over the years, the pattern of being the one to make the decisions around the illness developed. It is so important to be aware that when the need to make these decisions is most important, we will be cut out of the loop without proper documentation, although we may still be expected to deal with the consequences of these decisions. We may suddenly find ourselves needing to prove our competence as a caregiver to people who know the persons wishes to a lesser degree than we do, but have all the legal power.
More on this topic next week.
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