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Valued Social Butterfly
Posts: 8,612
Registered: ‎08-18-2008

Re: Help for the Helpers

[ Edited ]
Message 1 of 8 (576 Views)

barbarac266631 wrote

They don't need 24/7 at this point. I cook, shop, handle my dads meds. I take them to doctors appoinments. Help around the house.

-----------------------------

Don't let the next potential crisis find you unprepared -

find out your options - 

In many states, low income elderly who can qualify for Medicaid and they don't count the family home as long as one of them still lives there, can get some home care rather than going to a nursing home. .   It is called the Home and Community Based Services.  Some states also have assisted living facilities for those on Medicaid; same program, just the Community part rather than the Home part.

 

Is your Dad a Veteran - I ask because there could be some benefits for him through the VA.

 

We don't always get what we want, especially as we get older and might have to start relying on others more - family or non-family, in our home or elsewhere.        I understand their desires like leaving the house to the granddaughter, like not putting one or the other of them or both in some type of a care home, but circumstances sometimes dictates what happens, not desires.  Have you ever noticed in Last Wills and Testaments where it is stipulated who is bequeathed what, it says something to the effect of IF assets are available.  We never know how things in life could change our plans.  They need to understand that their care comes 1st and if it gets to the point where you cannot do all the care necessary, whether by desire, time or just physical dexterity then other plans will have to be made - know the options.

 

You also seem to be intertwined with the relationship mix between them - the mine, yours and ours scenario.  This needs to be worked out between everybody involved to make things run smoother - or you maybe put in the situation of being the family caregiver with no power to make decisions - financial or healthwise.  It is fine if your stepmom wants her (chosen) daughter to make decisions - so her daughter needs to make some decisions for her care - that may includes to pay you for what you do. 

 

Your situation is made worse by all this yours, mine and ours scenarios. You have to include the stepmom's daughter of choice in the whole discussion.  Know your facts and resources so that you can supply necessary info because she does not sound like she is the info gathering type- but I might be wrong.

 

Find out the financial picture of the couple and the individuals within the couple - and who owns what.  You really need to be the assignee in your father's matters

 

Contact the Dept of Aging in SC and find out options which might be available to them - together and separately.

 

Contact Eldercare.gov to find out what services might be beneficial to them - together or separately.

 

You are at a distinct disadvantage if you do not have all powers in the legal documents which they assigned.  So probably all you can do is get general info so at least you will know some of your options if another potential crisis happens and further decisions have to be made.

 

You cannot just concentrate on the current 24/7 day-to-day because from your description of each of them, another health crisis could happen.

Info Seeker
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-02-2017

Re: Help for the Helpers

Message 2 of 8 (627 Views)

Hi Barbara,

It's me again!

 

Please get a moment to speak to your dad and get yourself put as his POA. They do not have to have the same person, so you do not have to convince his wife to allow you to be her POA.

If it is at all possible let him know that you need access to his bank account and other records should he become ill or incapacitated. 

I know money must be tight, you do not necessarily need a costly attorney to get this done.

There are several online ways to do it. I think services like legal zoom or rocket lawyer have online forms for each state, for less than $50 (?) you can get them print it out take it to the bank with your dad to have it notarized. While you are there, if he feels comfortable doing it, have him put you on the bank account.

Or at least have a financial POA that allows you to access his money, sell his property etc should the need arise.

Your moving there shows your dad that you are committed to helping, hopefully he will consent to make you his POA for healthcare and finances.

You are doing absolutely everything you can, and you are doing it well (just keep telling yourself that! it helps as the stress increases to know that no one is going to sit in judgment of you and how you cope with this challenge.....at least no one you need to pay attention to!!).

 

Best, 

Margaret

 

Info Seeker
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-02-2017

Re: Help for the Helpers

Message 3 of 8 (596 Views)

Gail,

There wasn't a plan? He was in the hospital, I got a call, no one could communicate to me what was going on. He sounded like he had a stroke so I jumped on a plane. He had an infection that presented as alzheimers. He was scared and asked me to stay a few days. He went to rehab and the doctors said he could no longer live alone with his wife. She couldn't take care of him and he can't take care of her. They were not going to let him out of the hospital until he found someone to live with them. I some how it became me. I flew home, gave up my apartment, my 2 jobs, packed everything and drive back in four days later.

 

Did you never discuss the "what ifs" with your elderly father or did he verbalize his plan to you? Yes, he will never send him wife to a nursing home as long as he is alive and if he needs to go to a nursing home he will.

 

Does his 3rd wife have anybody to share the load? Two daughter around my age that live within 8 miles from us. One is a drunk, they don't want her here and the other won't give up being with her dog to come help.

 

I know you love your father but leaving your life / job / friends / home / your family - literally stopping your life for exactly what?  That is what I am trying to figure out now. A bit late. I have no retirment money, I have never been married so no SS $ from a spouse. I have to go back to work.

Are you gonna be their caregiver 24/7?   If so, how will you do that and work at a job? They don't need 24/7 at this point. I cook, shop, handle my dads meds. I take them to doctors appoinments. Help around the house.

 

What about an assisted living facility? They don't have the money and won't consiter selling the house because she wants it for her grandaughter.

What about bringing in a caregiver ? His wife does't want strangers in the house.

 

What would they do if you were not there?  The daughter that drinks would have had to move in.

I assume that you have been far away from them geographically for a good while. Yes, my whole family is in the Mass/RI area. My father retired here 30 years ago.

 

Guess I just don't understand - but it sounds like you didn't think this through since it happened so quick. That is very true, sadly!

 

Tell me that he (or perhaps, they) have done all the legal work necessary for you to have some control - health care directive, health care power of attorney, durable power of attorney, a will, Representative payee for the SS benefit or SSI, Medicare authorization so that you can speak to them  about his (and hers too maybe) about their benefits. Yes, they have all of these but with her daughters named not me.

 

I wish we had talked and thought this through. Now what is the question!

 

This was helpful.

Barbara

Info Seeker
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-02-2017

Re: Help for the Helpers

Message 4 of 8 (641 Views)

Gail,

There wasn't a plan? He was in the hospital, I got a call, no one could communicate to me what was going on. He sounded like he had a stroke so I jumped on a plane. He had an infection that presented as alzheimers. He was scared and asked me to stay a few days. He went to rehab and the doctors said he could no longer live alone with his wife. She couldn't take care of him and he can't take care of her. They were not going to let him out of the hospital until he found someone to live with them. I some how it became me. I flew home, gave up my apartment, my 2 jobs, packed everything and drive back in four days later.

 

Did you never discuss the "what ifs" with your elderly father or did he verbalize his plan to you? Yes, he will never send him wife to a nursing home as long as he is alive and if he needs to go to a nursing home he will.

 

Does his 3rd wife have anybody to share the load? Two daughter around my age that live within 8 miles from us. One is a drunk, they don't want her here and the other won't give up being with her dog to come help.

 

I know you love your father but leaving your life / job / friends / home / your family - literally stopping your life for exactly what?  That is what I am trying to figure out now. A bit late. I have no retirment money, I have never been married so no SS $ from a spouse. I have to go back to work.

Are you gonna be their caregiver 24/7?   If so, how will you do that and work at a job? They don't need 24/7 at this point. I cook, shop, handle my dads meds. I take them to doctors appoinments. Help around the house.

 

What about an assisted living facility? They don't have the money and won't consiter selling the house because she wants it for her grandaughter.

What about bringing in a caregiver ? His wife does't want strangers in the house.

 

What would they do if you were not there?  The daughter that drinks would have had to move in.

I assume that you have been far away from them geographically for a good while. Yes, my whole family is in the Mass/RI area. My father retired here 30 years ago.

 

Guess I just don't understand - but it sounds like you didn't think this through since it happened so quick. That is very true, sadly!

 

Tell me that he (or perhaps, they) have done all the legal work necessary for you to have some control - health care directive, health care power of attorney, durable power of attorney, a will, Representative payee for the SS benefit or SSI, Medicare authorization so that you can speak to them  about his (and hers too maybe) about their benefits. Yes, they have all of these but with her daughters named not me.

 

I wish we had talked and thought this through. Now what is the question!

 

This was helpful.

Barbara

Info Seeker
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-02-2017

Re: Help for the Helpers

Message 5 of 8 (645 Views)

Margaret,

 

I am very greatful for your insight. You are right it would best to get these things talked about now instead of later.

 

Barbara

Info Seeker
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-02-2017

Re: Help for the Helpers

Message 6 of 8 (657 Views)

Hi Barbara

I can feel the fatigue and frustration in your posting.

The job you have embarked on is not an easy one. My 94 year old mother moved in with us and although we had more resources than most people, it was challenging.

 

Some suggestions (many are obvious, some are cliche, but I know when we are tired and overwhelmed it can be hard to think straight)

-Try to have a private space for yourself. It is important to be able to close the door and decompress.

-Get "baby" monitors so that you can be in your private space without worrying if someone needs you, has fallen, etc

-Does or did your father belong to any church? Although we did not live in the same area as my Mother when she moved in with us, we connected her to the church in our area. That gave her the opportunity to have visitors each Sunday when she was not able to leave the house.

-Are there support groups in your area? Go online and look for caregiver groups, groups for families with Parkinson's patients, demetia, etc. They can be valuable resources.

-your state or county health department or department of senior citizens may have resources, and respit care options. You will be most likely put on a waiting list (it was 4 months before we heard back) so the sooner you connect with resources the better! You may not need them now but you do not knowwhat the next year will bring.

 

And if you have not already done it please have a conversation with your dad and his wife regarding how they want the last years/months of their lives to play out. Get a Power of Attorney for health care and financial POA. The POA will not go into effect unless your dad or his wife are incapable of making decisions. But it is too late to get that after a stroke, etc. Do it Now. 

Also, be sure you have access to bank account numbers and passwords, etc. 

You can reassure your dad that you will respect his wishes but that good planning will help Him to stay in controll by giving you instructions for how he wants things to be.

 

I wish you good luck.

Margaret

Valued Social Butterfly
Posts: 8,612
Registered: ‎08-18-2008

Re: Help for the Helpers

Message 7 of 8 (660 Views)

So, barbarac266631, what was the plan?

 

Did you never discuss the "what ifs" with your elderly father or did he verbalize his plan to you? 

 

Does his 3rd wife have anybody to share the load?

 

I know you love your father but leaving your life / job / friends / home / your family - literally stopping your life for exactly what?  Are you gonna be their caregiver 24/7?   If so, how will you do that and work at a job?

 

What about an assisted living facility?

What about bringing in a caregiver ?

 

What would they do if you were not there?  I assume that you have been far away from them geographically for a good while.

 

Guess I just don't understand - but it sounds like you didn't think this through since it happened so quick.

 

Tell me that he (or perhaps, they) have done all the legal work necessary for you to have some control - health care directive, health care power of attorney, durable power of attorney, a will, Representative payee for the SS benefit or SSI, Medicare authorization so that you can speak to them  about his (and hers too maybe) about their benefits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Info Seeker
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-02-2017

Help for the Helpers

Message 8 of 8 (678 Views)

I have moved from Boston to Greenville, SC because my 85 yr old father and his 73 yr old wife (his 3rd) can no longer live independently togther. He's forgetful and easily distracted. So he forgets to eat, thinking he can care for his disablied wife, forgets to take care of himself and it just has been making his hospital/rehab visit more often. His wife has the beginnings of Partinsons, a morphin pump and more things wrong they we can understand. She can do little by herself. The decision for me to move in with them was made quick and now that I have been here for 4 months sometime I wonder what am I doing. I am 55, haven't found a job yet (need to work) and am going crazy in my new world of illnesses and medicine. Where there are always a 100 quetions and no one seems to be listening to the anwsers. Don't get me wrong, I love my father and want to make his life as easy as possible. Ok I am going to say it, at what cost to me, to my life, to my career.

Where is the help for the helpers?

Barbara