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AARP Expert

Re: Thoughts are Back n Forth

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Message 1 of 6

Hi Elizabeth:  First, let me say that my heart goes out to you!  There's a lot on your plate at the moment, and I hope you have had an opportunity to breathe and do some self care.  Being a long-distance caregiver is no easy task and it's easy to see how torn you feel at this time.   

 

Jane had some wonderful advice in her response post and I agree!  As far as immediate needs: the safety and care of your mom and stepfather are definitely priority A.  Hospice can provide so much for them at this time, as your stepfather is at the end of life and your mom is in declining health with now-limited vision and mobility.  Home health care, meal delivery services, senior transport services may all be of incredible benefit in the coming days and weeks while you plan for the longer term.

 

Siblings aren't involved at this time, but you may want to at least make the attempt to circle the wagons.  There is much to consider, such as:  1) do you have the legal documents in place that will let you help your mom (and stepfather), if needed?  For example, advance medical directives and durable powers of attorney can be critical; and 2) if it is time to consider whether your mother and stepfather should continue aging in place or if a move is on the horizon? 

 

I know you're wrestling with the decision of whether to move yourself and the possible impact on your marriage.  It may be helpful to talk to a professional alone and also with your husband who can help you work through these complex and deeply-emotional matters.  Does your employer offer an EAP that can direct you to services that may assist? 

 

I hope you find the right support for your family and that the path forward gets a bit clearer for you.  Wishing you all the best and please keep us posted.

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Re: Thoughts are Back n Forth

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Message 2 of 6
ElizabethN59509,
You are a good daughter caught in the middle.
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Re: Thoughts are Back n Forth

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Message 3 of 6

@ElizabethN59509 wrote:

Hi all, don't even know how to start. My mind has gone back n forth for wks now, Do I do it, or Not? Let me 1st say it's my Mother & step father, 86 yrs old who reside in the beautiful mountains of **bleep**, & I am in Fl. I do have a few siblings but they are scattered & aren't in this dilemma, (another story/later).  Both of them have health issues, SF is close to death, deteriorating the past yr, which I just witnessed a few wks ago, which is what got this rolling/seriously this time that is. Mother has battled a few serious issues herself this yr, but the biggest/worse to me, is the fast approaching blindness, the last eye doctor appt, he stated she should legally not drive, and showed me the results of what she's seeing, or Not! My SF has been her rock forever, gung go, up & out doing all the things that needed done, spunky character, of which he is no longer able to do, so she has had to, which she should not be. Try to be long story short here, I was/am flying out in Sept, but she asked me a month or so ago, why wait, can I come for a few days in June? Maybe I need to see you as much as you need to see me she says, now I know why!  It was devastating to see him like that, to hear her new news, she will be lost without him, understandably, but facing blindness herself! She collapsed in my arms when I arrived, crying, I Need You!!  Immediate thought, there in a heartbeat!!  I do love it there, could live there, transfer job, but Do I??  Here's the iffy part, I am married!  He will Not Go, a few different reasons, some I do understand, but in general, Not! (That is also another story/later)!  We have been together 12 yrs & all his family here, born & raised, of which I have been by his daughters side with an illness, I feel they need me, & I should do it! Can't say for how long right now, but I'm torn!  I'm ready to pack a few things up & go help out like May of 19, when my brother in Kansas wants me to drive him out & I would stay, leaving basically 18yrs of my household behind, & the selfish, it's all about him & his family selfish husband!! Ugh!  Plz give me some advice, but not nastiness, I'm already a basket case waiting for the phone call regarding my SF!! Thanks All. And Again, sorry it's so long winded!


Hello, Elizabeth,

Some questions as i read your story:

* If your husband's parents needed him would he expect you to move to be where they were?

* Although it's "another story/later" to explain why your siblings are not helping, what i want to know is, why are you willing to consider giving up your life and perhaps your marriage, and they are not lifting a finger?

* If your step father is so near death, i'd hope he was enrolled in home hospice care. Is he? There would be support for your mother in the hospice team, and for you...

 

There are other options besides the all or nothing scenarios you are thinking about, and guess what, it revolves around money. If your mother and step father have assets, then your mother can afford to hire some help, including a geriatric care manager, who can often act as a surrogate for family that lives far away. I used to be one. I was not cheap but i worked for an agency that had a sliding fee, and i did all kinds of things like, finding home health aides that fit with the family, make referrals to services that might help such as meals on wheels, went to doctor appointments and summarized the visits for the client and any interested adult children... helped apply for medicaid if there were dwindling funds... You can locate an agency or private practice by putting in her zip code at http://www.aginglifecare.org. I cost families 115 an hour. 

 

That's an option if there's money.  And short term help if there isn't to get expert advice on resources and ways to keep your mom at home, even though she is blind.

 

What kind of job do you have? Can you take leave, like family medical leave act leave, and set up a schedule where you visit frequently?  Like once a month for 4 or 5 days?  Can you negotiate a part time job out of your full time job if you work full time? Job share? That way you could be present and see how things are going, but also live with your husband and hopefully keep your job. With or without a care manager's help.

 

Can other members of the family, your siblings and any nieces, et al, take turns visiting also?

 

I have a friend who flew her mother to each member of the family for 3 months at a time, and that way over a year, no one adult child was more 'burdened' than another. There were 4 kids.

 

Have you and your husband considered marriage counseling? Sounds like there's some resentment there and no wonder. 

 

A reverse mortgage is possible for your mom, too, after your step father passes. Reverse mortgages have gotten very useful. The bank pays your mom money each month and when she dies, the bank gets the house. I knew  a woman who could afford a live in helper on the money her bank gave her. of course, she was very elderly and had only one elderly brother far away. I was the care manager eyeball that made sure the aides showed up.  You can find more out about them here: https://www.aarp.org/money/credit-loans-debt/reverse_mortgages/

 

Maybe your siblings would agree to help if they knew they'd be out of the inheritance of the house? Or, maybe your folks rent...

 

Lotta questions here for you to think about. Please write more. It is a fine briney pickle you're in and there are smart wise people who can weigh in. And yes i agree with SimpleLegal you should help your parents, but how... now there's the rub...

 

Jane

 

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Info Seeker

Re: Thoughts are Back n Forth

366 Views
Message 4 of 6

Thank you!  There's more to the story, I just read similar stories here n there, saying your spouse is 1st, get them other type of help, and I'm feeling if the marriage is strong enough, or maybe not, she was there for me in the beginning, why can't I be there for her, in her own home!!  But again, thank you

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Re: Thoughts are Back n Forth

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Message 5 of 6

Elizabeth,
Do the right thing. Help your parents.

 

 

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Thoughts are Back n Forth

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Message 6 of 6

Hi all, don't even know how to start. My mind has gone back n forth for wks now, Do I do it, or Not? Let me 1st say it's my Mother & step father, 86 yrs old who reside in the beautiful mountains of **bleep**, & I am in Fl. I do have a few siblings but they are scattered & aren't in this dilemma, (another story/later).  Both of them have health issues, SF is close to death, deteriorating the past yr, which I just witnessed a few wks ago, which is what got this rolling/seriously this time that is. Mother has battled a few serious issues herself this yr, but the biggest/worse to me, is the fast approaching blindness, the last eye doctor appt, he stated she should legally not drive, and showed me the results of what she's seeing, or Not! My SF has been her rock forever, gung go, up & out doing all the things that needed done, spunky character, of which he is no longer able to do, so she has had to, which she should not be. Try to be long story short here, I was/am flying out in Sept, but she asked me a month or so ago, why wait, can I come for a few days in June? Maybe I need to see you as much as you need to see me she says, now I know why!  It was devastating to see him like that, to hear her new news, she will be lost without him, understandably, but facing blindness herself! She collapsed in my arms when I arrived, crying, I Need You!!  Immediate thought, there in a heartbeat!!  I do love it there, could live there, transfer job, but Do I??  Here's the iffy part, I am married!  He will Not Go, a few different reasons, some I do understand, but in general, Not! (That is also another story/later)!  We have been together 12 yrs & all his family here, born & raised, of which I have been by his daughters side with an illness, I feel they need me, & I should do it! Can't say for how long right now, but I'm torn!  I'm ready to pack a few things up & go help out like May of 19, when my brother in Kansas wants me to drive him out & I would stay, leaving basically 18yrs of my household behind, & the selfish, it's all about him & his family selfish husband!! Ugh!  Plz give me some advice, but not nastiness, I'm already a basket case waiting for the phone call regarding my SF!! Thanks All. And Again, sorry it's so long winded!

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