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Taking care of Dad
sewme47
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sewme47
Intermediate
Illinois USA
Member since 8/28/08
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Date: 1/24/13 11:34 AM

My Dad's confusion and memory problems have come to the point where he can no longer live alone or take care of his bills. He needs supervision and cueing throughout the day and needs to be accompanied to medical appointments.

One of the options we are looking at his to have him live with my sister in California, but she wants to be paid for her time as well as for room & board. Her motives are good, and all the other siblings trust that she would be a patient and dependable caregiver. She is thinking $3000 per month total for room, board, care for his beloved dog, incidentals and caregiving services.

Has anyone ever had a situation like this? I'm worried about my sister depending on this arrangement for her income. Anything that leaves her vulnerable, also exposes my dad to risk. But I know he would be happier with her than in an institution. I am his power of attorney and want to do the right thing for him. I am consulting with an elderlaw attorney next week, but wondered if anyone can offer advice about how to proceed. Thank you.
-- Edited on 1/24/13 11:35 AM --

------
A balanced diet is a cupcake in each hand.

AdaH
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AdaH  Friend of PR
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Iowa USA
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Date: 1/24/13 11:48 AM

Living with your sister would be a lot better than living in a home. I took care of my mother for 3 months while she was dying and it was grueling. Not becasue she was ill but becasue she needed my constant care.
Your sister will be cook/housekeeper/nanny/chauffeur 24/7 so $3000 isn't all that much.

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Ada

purplebouquet
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purplebouquet
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Date: 1/24/13 12:20 PM

Your sister will want to know about the tax implications about this arrangement (this is considered income) and her accident liability. If he falls or suffers any type of injury, runs away, develops bedsores, etc., she could be held liable and be prosecuted for elder abuse. It sounds horrid, but could be a scenario. Her homeowner's insurance might go up, so gathering information is really important, just so that she has all the facts.

Having my MIL come live with us or her other son when she started showing signs of dementia was completely out of the question, so she moved/we moved her into a nursing home when the time came. She thrived there and actually improved initially. I am sharing this because in our experience, a nursing home is not necessarily the dreadful place it is often made out to be, just in case you're considering that option.

All the best.

Claudia

BettyMike
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BettyMike  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/24/13 1:59 PM

I moved my dad into an assisted living facility just 2 miles from my house. We did not have the space, and he would not have been happy with us anyway. I was able to go by everyday on my way to work. He was able to take is cat with him, at least for a little while. We paid around $3000 a month, and it was well worth it for all concerned. The facility called in hospice when the time came, and made the whole process much easier for all concerned. Best of luck!

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betty/mikie

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 1/24/13 2:36 PM

Wait for the lawyer's opinion.

------
"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

KathySews
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KathySews  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/24/13 3:05 PM

Taking care of someone if very exhausting, so I don't think that is too much to ask as it sounds like you would not be living near enough to give her a break.

Also, if your father is a veteran, she might be able to get some assistance through the VA. It helps with getting a break, etc. Whatever it takes.

Good luck to your family. Many of us here have been through similar things with our parents and are here to offer support whenever you need it.

Canadian Jane
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Canadian Jane
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Alberta CANADA
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In reply to sewme47 <<


Date: 1/24/13 3:22 PM

This is always a tough decision for families to wrestle with.

You are on the right track by consulting an attorny to get all the facts on the table. Your sister is wise to ask for a fee for doing this because it is hard work and it takes its toll

I would consider is how long this arrangement will be. It is a huge committment now for your sister to take on, fee or not. That committment will only increase as your father's dementia worsens. Eventually, he may need to go to a facility that is better able to meet his needs, especially if he becomes violent or starts to wander off. No one knows when that point will be.

If it were my Dad, I would want him in an area where he has the most family and friends that can visit him and provide support. (Sister's home or not.) Some facilities are better than others but for him be able to have as much family and that which is familar to him might prove to be better for him in the longer run.

JMHO... I hope you and your family finds the solution that works best for you.
-- Edited on 1/24/13 3:22 PM --

Plottie

Plottie
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Date: 1/24/13 5:07 PM

Caring for aging parents is a privilege, but not without it's own challenges. How lucky your father is to have a family that is concerned for him & trying to help him. I can offer little in the way of practical advice as our countries have different arrangements etc, but your family is in my thoughts while you make your decisions. Your sister sounds a very kind person, but if she takes your father will she have support networks of her own? Will she have access to respite care for him, or someone to look after him if she wants a weekend away. Please make sure that she is looked after too.

It is such a hard thing to do, and it doesn't matter which way you turn, you end up feeling that you've made the wrong decision (we are going through a similar situation at the moment).

Hugs to you and your family while you deal with this

------
Blue Mountains, NSW

NancyZL
NancyZL  Friend of PR
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In reply to sewme47 <<
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Date: 1/24/13 5:35 PM

Having done this with my sister I believe that your sister will need respite care herself . We found an adult day care program with a sliding fee scale which helped us
manage. So I would look for something like that. My dad did not go every day but gave me a needed break & gave him some socialization. Its very difficult & one has to be flexible. If your sister has her own family she needs their input also. Take care.

sewme47
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sewme47
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Illinois USA
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Date: 1/24/13 8:46 PM

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and experiences with me. I don't know what we'll decide, but one good thing about the situation is that my sisters and I have been talking on a daily basis (we are all in different areas of the country.) We always make each other laugh! And we all have Dad's sense of humor.

I'm going to have to accept that there isn't one correct answer...more like a series of decisions to be made as Dad's condition changes.
Thank you,

------
A balanced diet is a cupcake in each hand.

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