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My parents, who are divorced, still live independently. They both have made no plans for their future care when they cannot live indepenently anymore. They both know I am not an option as a caregiver to them. They refuse to discuss the issue and just live their lives as if they will live, the way they are, until they die. I tried to tell them if they don't make choices now, they will be forced to have decisions made for them in the future. They both say they will worry about it when and if the time comes. How selfish can they be? I don't want to have to make those choices for them! I am ready to just walk away and leave them to their own lives, living with their heads in the sand!

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It isn't a matter of handling a POA, but getting our parents to agree to have one established. My siblings and I are not the least bit interested in getting anything. I am the only one trying to get our parents to make future plans for their care and medical wishes. A will with probatable assets is the least of my concern.
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I recommend making plans for your parents and telling them what those plans are. Don't pay too much attention to what you think they actually want. The more arbitrary the better. Promise them that you will hook them up to a feeding machine or respirator and keep them alive absolutely as long as possible. Describe the "amenities" at the horrible nursing home you have chosen because you "know they don't want to waste money on their comfort, when they could leave it to you." That might get their attention.

My father, bleeding from what turned out to be rectal cancer, refused to go to the emergency room. I said, "So you're ok with lying here bleeding to death." He said yes, but changed his mind in a few hours. My point is not to be too gentle in explaining why they need to take action. Find a few horror stories about people who didn't make plans. Good luck. I know you'll need it!!!
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If you, the caregiver, or any siblings, cannot handle the POA's, then the recepient will be forced to have a lawyer do it, an "expensive option" indeed. Then after the money runs out, Medicaid just takes over, and any assets are repaid to Medicaid upon the recipient's death. The unhelping children cannot expect to get anything after Mom or Dad dies then.
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So be it, but I would try for the POAs while competency is not an issue, otherwise, let it all go.
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Ferris is right. There is nothing much I can do if my parents are unwilling to address their aging issues and future care. My siblings are no help, they also have their heads in the sand. There is no competency issues at this moment so I will do the only thing I can do, nothing and just live my own life.
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I am sure that there are many competent people on this site that could speak to this issue better than I can. My thought would perhaps have her family member with power of attorney for health and financial talk to the case manager that handles her financials at the memory center. If she will be out of money in a year, why not apply for it now, I would think that the center would be able to direct the family to the right person for assistance here.
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I have an aunt that is currently living off proceeds of her home....she is in a memory care unit....she will be out of money in less than one year....if she doesn't pass before her money is gone what happens then? Medicaid? I hear it takes 6 months to get onto Medicaid and go into a nursing home...who picks up the tab until Medicaid kicks in? I am not her daughter..what if I just walk away when the money runs out? what if I die before her? then what?
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What about right of residence? I got one
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Hey, if the Medicaid affected residence that you have lived in and cared for your loved ones, and you still currently live in, goes to court, the county will have to drag you out by your heels. Where will you go go live if nothing else is availble? I think laws should figure that one out! Find an attorney fast, and FIGHT until YOU find alternate housing!
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My dad assured me over the years that he had things all planned out. He was an intelligent man, a college professor, very rational and logical so it never occurred to me to ask him to show me what his plans were. He lived with me and I told him that unless he became bed-bound I would always care for him in my home. I never should have said that but I did and it didn't end up like that. He went into a nursing home where he lived for 6 months until he died last month. We soon found out that his 'plans' consisted of a letter directing us what to do with his possessions once he died. I knew of this letter, he worked on it frequently, but I never asked to see it. I just assumed that since he told me he had made provisions for his care, he actually had. Once I got my hands on this letter I realized that he had been very naïve and hadn't really thought of everything as he said. It was a mess that my brother and I had to figure out. But because my dad assured me that all would be taken care of I never asked to sit down with him and go over all of this stuff.

If you're told by your parent(s) that they have it all taken care of, DEMAND to see what their plans are. Don't take their word for it. I wish I had done this with my dad.
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Of course a parent's house must be sold to pay for their nursing home care (if there's no spouse living in the house). Why would the taxpayers be on the hook to pay for care when the person who needs the care has assets (which include their property).

I really don't understand where, as a culture, we seem to think that long term nursing care should be a tax-funded entitlement for everybody - those with assets and those without. If your parent's only asset is their property and they need care, they must sell the property to pay for the care. If you, their child, want their property then buy it, or care for them yourself, then you can inherit it.

Somehow we seem to be unable to look at real estate unemotionally for what it is - an asset, just like stocks or mutual funds or a savings account. When you need money, you liquidate your assets whether that means selling shares of stock or putting a 'for sale' sign in the front yard.
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Do they have the resources to make any future plans with? Long term healthcare plans are VERY expensive and don't always cover "forever" situations. A lot of people do not want to think about getting old or being sick or dying so they make no plans. I realize this is unfair to you and I don't know if you are not capable of caring for them due to your own illness or what, but if you will be faced with this down the road, please make sure that both parents have a trust and make sure to have the Power of Attorney for Financial and Healthcare issues on them both. These MUST be signed prior to them becoming mentally incapacitated, if they are not then you have to seek to become their conservator, which can be hard as no doctor wants to sign off on this and it is drawn out and expensive if it goes into court. You have made me think about myself, I have taken care of this for my mother and my father has already passed away, but I have not done it for myself so my daughter will not have to deal with it. I however do not have the resources for long term care, but I do need to at least handle my burial and leave her with all necessary documents. Thank you for opening my eyes to a situation I wasn't looking at.
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Planning ahead is a good idea. I'm having the same issues. No wills, POA's, final wishes, nothing in writing. I started the topic by giving each of them (all 4 at the same time) a workbook on End of Life issues. There are many out there for them or you to choose from. I went to amazon. I told them that these were important things to consider. That I wanted them to fill it out. I didn't need to know what was in it or what their desires were. I just wanted to know if it was done and where they put it. I am slowly getting them to fill it out with my help one on one starting with the unimportant things like family and personal medical history, etc. It will take time and I don't know if I will ever convince them at the ages of 80+ that they need a Will or POA. But we are working on it.
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I think we often need to take a step back and realize that there is two different realities...theirs (the aging parent, and ours the caregivers or the children's). It's easy for caregiver or child to see down the road, but the reality is they often don't know how much longer they have down the road so they don't or won't look at it...we need to take a deep breath and let the have their identity and reality as long as they can until they can't and then we do...
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Take care of yourself first before you burn out and cannot help anyone else!! There is only one YOU!!
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You can provide supplies for your parents, and also help with their transporation if you are not available.
In my case, my siblings live out-of-state and cannot provide more than telephone calls or ordered supplies to be sent in the care home in SSF where my mother is because she cannot take care of herself since suffering several falls at our home in the past year. I must work and have only a temporary job, so I cannot even get any time off from the S.F. job; missed time means no pay, and I have not even worked for 3 months after a 14-month unemployment experience. I am constantly tired and feel I now have to turn off all phone and email contact until I get more rested, my work performance improves, and I gain more energy, except for any emergencies, of course. Please, folks, do not quit your necessary jobs, but just ask the care manager to request social help with the parents' transporation and errands. You cannot be two people at once, and do no try to overextend yourself to the point of making yourself so stressed that you get sick. YOURSELF comes first before anyone else in your life, and I'm sorry, even your own loved family!
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Unless they are deemed incompetent, I do not think you have any other choice but to leave them alone. It is their lives after all. I hope you plan for your future!
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I am a partial caretaker of my mother, 88, with serious health issues, swear that I will not put her into a nursing home as long as I am physically able to care for her. However, I am 63, healthy, financially sound, have no one else to care for but a cat. She is sharp as a tack mentally, and due to her and my deceased father's good financial planning she is in excellent financial shape. Your parents may have done some planning without letting you know. At 63, I have taken out life insurance policies, looked at different options for when I can't live on my own (since I never wish to live with my daughter in law), such as assisted living, and have savings for that option. My best advise as a caregiver and a senior citizen approaching my own later years is to have a frank discussion with them.
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Yes, I agree the point of the article was that an archaic law can and is being resurrected, I'm just adding that it didn't even begin to scrape the surface of how dangerous these old, outdated laws are and how they are being brought back and updated while the children it will affect are being kept in the dark by their elected officials.
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The point of the article was that an archaic law can and is being resurrected.
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The above website also does not take into account whether or not a child HAS BEEN providing loving and skilled care for the parent. Why, if the child has provided long-term care until they were no longer able or qualified, should the Nursing Home bill be forced on them as well? Mr. Pittas of Pennsylvania HAD SIBLINGS - and the courts/nursing home didn't go after ANY OF THEM! How is this fair under ANY LAW, if he had to pay, then all the siblings should have had to pay! Why didn't any of the other siblings file for Medicaid as this article suggested Mr. Pittas should have done? Why weren't they just as culpable? And keep in mind, in MY CASE, Mom was ON MEDICAID and it was Medicaid and the State of Tennessee that tried to force me to sell her house and hand over the proceeds!
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I read the above link and found it lacking in dealing with specific states. The author acts as if Mr. Pittas and Pennsylvania is a one-time first case scenario and that scared me. Tennessee, as I mentioned above, has been forcing heirs to sell the parent's home and possessions in order to pay Medicaid back for expenses. And this has been going on for more than two decades! Tennessee is not the only state QUIETLY doing this!
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I feel for you, and admire your trying to talk to stubborn parents, but I fear your situation is far worse than you know. I was faced with a similar issue with my Mom and learned the hard way just how much can go wrong.

If you have siblings, GET A CONTRACT WITH THEM NOW! Make sure ALL siblings sign stating exactly what they will be responsible for as in the actual care given and the monetary responsibilities - DETAIL THIS AND DO THIS NOW BEFORE YOUR PARENTS NEED HELP! (My brother owes me nearly $200,000 and I will never see it, and in ten years of my giving our Mom round the clock care, he bought her ONE MEAL nor did he take her to a single doctor's appointment, sit with her in the hospital, or pay any of her bills). SIBLINGS WILL RUN when the time comes! They'll claim, "I live out of town, what can I do?" "I can't afford it." "I have child support payments." "She lives with you, so you deal with it." There is no limit to the excuses siblings will use to avoid/shirk their responsibilities to their parents' elder care.

I know I've been beating a dead horse ever since I joined this group a couple weeks back but getting this word out is important to me. HIRE A RELIABLE ELDER CARE LAWYER NOW! Otherwise, you'll be bitter towards your siblings and possibly having to file bankruptcy. (Check Elder Care Attorneys out thoroughly, be sure they have many years of experience, ask questions, ask for references before you hire them.) This is critical if your parents have not planned and there is no money set aside for long-term care. The problem coming down the pipeline is the "Filial Responsibility Laws" (already on the books in 30 states) that FORCE THE CHILDREN TO PAY FOR THEIR PARENTS' LONG-TERM CARE! A man in Pennsylvania just lost $93,000 to pay for his Mother's Nursing Home Care. This man had siblings, but the Nursing Home only went after him because they knew he had money. He lost, his siblings are off the hook, and he's out $93,000 with no recourse. A similar suit just happened in Connecticut (but was recently overturned.


AARP has a map highlighting states with Filial Responsibility Laws already on the books, if AARP is putting this information up, they're warning their customers that this is definitely becoming an issue:


Tennessee has QUIETLY been forcing HEIRS to sell the parent's home to repay Medicaid for DECADES (I know this for a fact as it happened to me in 2004).

Here is a list of states that already have these laws on the books (keep in mind that more states are currently writing/adding these laws and most of these states are updating these laws in order to put them into effect):


The New Old Age By JANE GROSS
States With Filial Responsibility Laws are: Alaska, Arkansas,
California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa,
Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana,
Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota,
Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota,
Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.
To look up the actual language of the statutes, here are the
citations:
1. Alaska Stat. 25.20.030, 47.25.230 (Michie 2000)
2. Arkansas Code Ann. 20-47-106 (Michie 1991)
3. California Fam. Code 4400, 4401, 4403, 4410-4414 (West 1994),
California Penal Code 270c (West 1999), California Welf. & Inst.
Code 12350 (West Supp. 2001)
4. Connecticut Gen. Stat. Ann. 46b-215, 53-304 (West Supp. 2001)
5. Delaware Code Ann. tit. 13, 503 (1999)
6. Georgia Code Ann. 36-12-3 (2000)
7. Idaho Code 32-1002 (Michie 1996)
8. Indiana Code Ann. 31-16-17-1 to 31-16-17-7 (West 1997); Indiana
Code Ann. 35-46-1-7 (West 1998)
9. Iowa Code Ann. 252.1, 252.2, 252.5, 252.6, 252.13 (West 2000)
10. Kentucky Rev. Stat. Ann. 530.050 (Banks-Baldwin 1999)
11. Louisiana Rev. Stat. Ann. 4731 (West 1998)
12. Maryland Code Ann., Fam. Law 13-101, 13-102, 13-103, 13-109
(1999)
13. Massachusetts Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 273, 20 (West 1990)
14. Mississippi Code Ann. 43-31-25 (2000)
15. Montana Code Ann. 40-6-214, 40-6-301 (2000)
16. Nevada Rev. Stat. Ann. 428.070 (Michie 2000);
Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. 439B.310 (Michie 2000)
17. New Hampshire Rev. Stat. Ann. 167:2 (1994)
18. New Jersey Stat. Ann. 44:4-100 to 44:4-102, 44:1-139 to 44:1-
141 (West 1993)
19. North Carolina Gen. Stat. 14-326.1 (1999)
20. North Dakota Cent. Code 14-09-10 (1997)
21. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. 2919.21 (Anderson 1999)
22. Oregon Rev. Stat. 109.010 (1990)
23. 62 Pennsylvania Cons. Stat. 1973 (1996)
24. Rhode Island Gen. Laws 15-10-1 to 15-10-7 ((2000); R.I. Gen.
Laws 40-5-13 to 40-5-18 (1997)
25. South Dakota Codified Laws 25-7-28 (Michie 1999)
26. Tennessee Code Ann. 71-5-115 (1995), Tenn. Code Ann. 71-5-
103 (Supp. 2000)27. Utah Code Ann. 17-14-2 (1999)
28. Vermont Stat. Ann. tit. 15, 202-03 (1989)
29. Virginia Code Ann. 20-88 (Michie 2000)
30. West Virginia Code 9-5-9 (1998).
State laws vary. however, law student Shannon Edelstone, in her
award-winning essay (cited below), studied all of the state laws and
found that most agree that children have a duty to provide
necessities for parents who cannot do so for themselves. The states'
legislation also gives guidelines to the courts, telling judges to use a
number of factors when weighing the adult child's ability to pay
against the indigent parent's needs. Judges, accordingly, have
considered such variables as the adult child's financing of their
child's college education, as well as his/her personal needs for
savings and retirement.
Sources: Filial Responsibility: Can the Legal Duty to Support Our
Parents Be Effectively Enforced? by Shannon Frank Edelstone,
appearing in the Fall 2002 issue of the American Bar Association's
Family Law Quarterly, 36 Fam. L.Q. 501 (2002). Lexic.com.
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I feel it would be better if it were the last gift that they wanted to give us instead of should
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I think those that don't plan ahead for the later years are just plain scared of facing reality. We are dealing with that "do what you think best" attitude now.

I've seen the difference with friends and relatives whose elders had all their ducks in a row long before, including burial plans. It is one less emotional burden/responsibility for their children. I feel it is the last real gift our parents should give us.
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We call what your parents are doing "waiting for a crisis." It's VERY common.
This sometimes works..."I know I've brought up the idea of planning for what you'll do if a time comes and you need help to take care of yourself. I understand that you don't want to make a move right now. But, you should make a plan for 'some day'. If you do not, and an accident or illness happens, I will be the one who has to choose where you will go and how you will live. If you make a plan now, those decisions will be yours to make."
If that doesn't work, tell them you are going to look at a few places and choose one so that you are prepared in case of a crisis. If they'd like to be involved that process, they are welcome. If you've already had the argument so many times you can't face another, eliminate step one altogether and start right in with describing to them how you're going to plan.
Sadly, it's often all about the slant you put on things when dealing with irrational parents...kind of like when you were dealing with your children as toddlers.

ps - You really should have a plan in place if they truly won't. If your parents have the resources for AL, you should shop around now and pick one. It's so much easier to do with a clear head and some time than with a parent being discharged from a hospital with no place to go. Just call a few and go do some tours. Explain your situation to the them, sometimes they can help persuade – they've heard every irrational argument there is : )
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We're also 'waiting until the time comes' to deal with the issue. All I can suggest is acting now to scope out what your choices will be under catastrophic circumstances, prepare for them and adjust as needed if your loved ones unexpectedly begin considering more preferred choices. And-- breathe. It's okay to unclench.
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Your local aging and disability resource center has options ocunselors who can talk with your parents about future health care needs.
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Your profile says you are caring for your mother, living at home with lung disease. So, I am not sure whether she lives with you or you live with her,and your dad lives somewhere else. In any event, not knowing their ages too, I would have a talk about the need for at least finanancial and health POAs while they are both competent. If they do not want to talk about it, well you did and that is all you can do. They have the right to live their lives the way it suits them, and it is not selfish to you because you have the same rights.
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