Getting over guilt when you have to take over parents finances.

Started by

My dad has just been diagnosed with dementia and my mom left and went out of state. I had to take control of my dads finances because my mom has taken 90% of there life savings out in the last 4 years. I have been telling her for years something like this was going to happen and she did not listen. I now have to be the bad guy and I feel guilty. I do have a sister but she has her own issues and cannot help me with my dad. I have moved him to my house and I am using his last bit of savings to put a mobile home on my property for him. I feel guilty about moving him also. He wanted to go back to his own home but in the last 2 years he has given his debit card to a neighbor along with the pin and of course they cleaned the account out. There have also been breakins in the neiborhood and they neighbor was shot in the head. I feel its a very bad area for him and I know I need to be with him in order to keep him safe. I just need to not feel so much guilt. It is keeping me form not doing things I need to do. Could someone please share experance with guilt so I dont feel so alone


I moved my mom to my 3 bedroom home after the storms we had this past winter. She had been living on her own with a companion for 1/2 a day 3 days a week and meels on wheels. When I brought her to my home, I felt bad that she was leaving her friends and all her belongings. she already given me her POA and financial duties to pay bills etc. I feel bad that this is where she is and not in her home, but, if she was in her home she would not be safe and I would be running back and forth from my home to her home and I am sure, to the hospital. She has 3 meals a day, heat, tv, etc. Yes, this has caused other family members to be jealous and questions her status, but Mom and I talk every day and plan the days events and she tells me how to handle her affairs when I ask her what to do. She is safe, she seems happy and she has never asked me to go back to her home. Yes, I have lost my privacy and yes I have surrendered a lot, but it's okay. I will have that time to travel and be alone with my husband soon enough. Just get a good support system for your Dad so you can rest and get to work. Contact the Dept of the Aging in your state or local churches to see if you can get a caregiver to help you. But make sure you give him a non-working credit card or ATM card. Make sure he is getting Medicaid, Medicare or his pension and change his address to yours so you can see his mail, etc.DO NOT FEEL GUILTY. When you were growing up and he said no to you he knew he was protecting you. Now its your turn to protect him.
was your dad a veteran? If so he is entitled to Aid and Attendance benefits which is quite a substantial amount to take care of him. He can also get money if you decide to put him in a nursing home regardless if he has to go to a medicaid facility.
When you do the best you can with what you are given, then why do you feel guilty? You are in control of your thoughts and somehow you are going to have to come to the realization your mom left you with your ill dad and take it from there. Just deal with it like the rest of us who are taking care of our loved ones.
Ferris1, please try to understand how hurtful it may be to say "just deal with it". The OP was asking for advice on HOW to deal with it. If it's your perspective that dealing with it is a simple matter, then , it might be helpful to remember that for some of us it is more difficult, and a bit of encouragement and practical advice can go a long way.

As for the question of how to deal with the guilt, Hopeforabetter, I think it's good to try to focus on how much safer your dad will be with you, and being with someone who loves him instead of being vulnerable to ppl who would exploit him. You are doing your best for your dad, and you are keeping him safe. The factors that brought you to having to make the decision to move him are beyond your control. You are doing the right thing by trying to deal with this new reality.
I am a mom that left the state where my TBI husband and our children live. There are reasons mom's leave dad's after years and years of marriage. The reasons may not be valid to on-lookers, but the dad knows. As for you feeling guilty, d o n ' t ! My children have formed a mutual support system around their dad. They love both of us; and my emotional, mental and physical well-being is also important to them. It is not easy for my children because it was not easy for me. Be thankful that you are in a blessed position to help your what you can...and know that your decisions are for his best interest. MomsAngel's answer was right on! Print out her last two sentences, post them in places around your home and read them every day until the truth of what she said becomes a reality for you. You sound like a good daughter. Stay blessed.
You might want to check out a website: On this website you can search for local resources. I'd recommend calling your local Senior Information & Assistance office; they might have some good resources for you.

The Senior I&A should also be able to help you find a local caregiver support group. These other caregivers have gone through/are going through what you are going through, and they can be amazing supports. You are going to need support, because from what you said, you won't be getting any from your mother or sister. You are not alone in your caregiving journey, and I think every person who finds themselves in a caregiving situation experiences guilt! That being said, it sounds like you really love your dad, and you are doing everything you can to keep him safe and healthy so he can have a good and happy life. It sounds like he doesn't have anyone else that is able to do for him what you are doing-- but you need someone to support you, too! I can easily tell you "don't feel guilty," but I know that guilt doesn't stem from a place of logic, but rather a place of emotion and it's not that easy to just stop it. Maybe you can think up a phrase or mantra to tell yourself when the guilty feelings overwhelm you, such as, "I'm doing what's best for him," or "I love my father and this is how I show him I love him," or "when I was a child, he took care of me; now it's my turn."
It sounds to me like you are already doing a super job. It sometimes just gets so overwhelming for me that I need to vent and this is a good spot to do that. The advice about Aid and Attendance from Veterans is a good place to start looking for some financial relief if he was a veteran. I feel guilt also at times even when I am doing the best that I can so try and take it easy on yourself. One of the biggest challenges that I face is trying to get a little time for myself without feeling guilty. When I discovered that I was a much better caregiver when I do get time to recharge it diminished my guilt about wanting time for myself because I realized it was a necessity for both of us. It is a long and winding road and I wish you the best.
What do you feel guilty about? You sound like you are doing the right thing. If you can get a power of attorney, you should file to get your mother to return half of his savings. You can apply for Medicaid for him and tell them what she did. You should also report to police about the neighbor cleaning him out. Since he got the PIN # from someone with dementia, that is fraud.
I agree with Terrim. Contact the police to report fraud then follow through and press charges. Without knowinf the law, I would think dad could get mom to return half of the savings
First, drop the guilt. You are the person who SAVED your Dad. You are a HERO, I commend you for your selflessness! Many good suggestions already given as to financial assistance. Heed the advice of Terrim & Rhonda60. Prosecuting those formerly in your Dad's life IS a hard pill to swallow but, already a victim of his disease, he has been further victimized by those he trusted. You can never push hard enough to rid him of the disease but you CAN do something about those who took advantage of him. Push, push, push! You'll be too busy to worry about guilt. Remember, you are the HERO of this story.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support