My biggest fear is my disabled, depressed mother will run out of money and will have to move in with me.

Started by

19 Comments

How close is she to running out of money? You might want to start looking into applying for Medicaid.

There is no requirement that she has to live with you.
I second Jeanne's thought. Also, there are area agencies that can help you. Depending on the nature of your mother's disability, it might be the mental health agency, a center for aging, or disability services, but you can drop in and talk to them, and indicate that you would like to open services. Your mother would benefit from a case manager. Their role is the coordination of care and services. Once she is determined to be eligible (again, that will vary depending on what criteria they are using: disability, depression, age) it will open up access to a variety of services, all of which depends on your state. I recommend it because a case manager at any of these agencies is likely to be much more aware than you are of what services are available, how to apply, who the good contacts are at the local SSI/SSDI/DHHS offices.
Good advice above. Fear dissapates with knowledge. I was very suprised by the amount of free services and help available. Start asking - Doctors - Alzheimers Association, County etc. It varies by location.
Contact the Area office on Aging at 1-800-510-2020. wherever your are in the U.S. that number will get you to the Office on Aging in your area. That is the best place to start....As for your worrying about her running out of money and maybe having to live with you......Take a good look in your mirror, because someday that may happen to you and I hope someone doesn't say the same about you. Good luck to your mother sounds like she is the one that's going to need it The seniors in this country in most instances are fortunate to have agencies that can and will help them,
WanderingJ, if I had expressed my biggest fear on a caregiver's forum, and had been reprimanded to "look in the mirror", I would feel shamed and humiliated, which I don't believe is the intent of these boards at all. Even loving children can be fearful of the realities of caregiving for an elderly, depressed and disabled relative. That is not selfish, that is realistic, and it disturbs me that you would imply that Holley is somehow wrong to feel those feelings.
We do not know how easy or difficult mother was to live with, whether she was supportive or abusive, nurturing or addicted. All we know is that another caregiver has come to this board looking for support, and expressing her deepest fear. Holley, I am sorry that you got any negative feedback for doing so, and hope that you will continue to look for what you need here, and let the rest go. WJ, I hope that you can recognize that every situation is different, and some parents can make their children's lives a living hell. I say that as a psychotherapist with two decades of dealing with client PTSD and family dynamics under my belt. The whole family needs support and compassion. There is no room, and no need for judgment.
Bandit8it~ I know that most of us who are posting on these sites are experiencing a great deal of uneasiness and fear with regards to our aging love ones...and perhaps even of our own challenges that we may have to experience when that day arrives. Having gone through the care-giving experience myself...I know that it is difficult to give anyone advice as it seems, no two situations are identical. Plus our core/personal values are different. That of course most likely has a lot to do with how we view aging and how we react to the over-all situation..and our utlimate decisions.

As you know most of us on these sites are at various stages in dealing with the care-giving or loss of a senior loved one. As far as I know ..this is a forum where we are all suppose to be able to share our feelings..Am I not correct in thinking this?

I personally did not see WJ’s statement as judging but merely matter of fact.. Those of us who have already experienced the ups and downs of caregiving will often have a different view than those who have not yet had the experience. .I have a similar view on that myself as I almost did not take my mother...I was afraid that I could not handle it because of my childhood memories and not really knowing my mother. But it turned out to be one of the blessings of my life...I learned to love my mother and accept my mother for who she was....I realize that people cannot give what they do not have/know themselves. While challenging, it was a beautiful healing experience for both of us. Of course it was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. Now that she has passed from my sight, I feel a closeness to her that I had never experienced before being her care-giver. Because of my own experience I feel it is important for people to take time to look at the caregiving situation very closely and make their decision carefully....for regardless, we all at some point in our lives will face our conscious.. Of course that is an individual thing.

Holly, I feel for you …you have a lot of difficult decisions to make and I am sure that you will come up with all the right ones…those that will be best for all those involved. And then make sure to take care or you whatever your decision. . Indeed today there are a lot more choices than there were a couple of years ago. Depending upon the situation it is possible that mother will find the perfect place and make a lot of new friends and have the best time of her life. I know several people who just loved their lives ….once they got themselves acclimated to the changes. Getting old is really scary dear, so she will need your love and encouragement.

Social Services always has a lot of information to pass on plus try to visit all the nursing homes.. Some states require that each facilitiy have a certain number of units for lower income people…Which is really nice! I think the important thing is to be there for her…to let her know that you are keeping an eye out…and that she is safe and that she is loved…take her little trinkets, take her to lunch, etc. It can be very nice. Also they get better care when you show more interest. I took my mother from the nursing home because she was about 1000 miles away and not doing well there. If I could have lived close by I think it could have worked out beautifully even though she had alzheimer’s….

Please know Holly, that we are all here for you. I hope you did not have your feelings hurt as Bandit8it suggested. This is a nice group and each of us in our own way are just trying to reach out to you. Try to look over us if we say something not to your liking.

Perhaps you will share a little more with us? God bless you Holly..I am sending you lots of love and hugs.
Thank you for your feedback, Bebe, you are absolutely right that where I am in my journey colors how I read WJ's answer. I apologize if I had a hair trigger and responded inappropriately. Thank you for your sensitive and thoughtful response.
I think one of the biggest fears on this site can be to receive a post that feels non-supportive especially at a time when we all need all the support we can get. I do understand bandit's first response and personally, I agree with it as I felt wandering's response was judgemental. It's good we can agree to disagree. Think it's important to respond to questions, posts, etc. with sensitivity and thoughtfulness and consider how your answer might be interpreted by another.
I, too, thought the "look in the mirror" comment was judgemental. Perhaps it wasn't meant that way. I thought the implication was that everyone should be willing to take in a parent but that may be my projection and not the writer's intention. Or it may indeed be what the writer meant. Everyone is entitled to an opinion on that topic. It can feel a bit harsh, though, when it is expressed in the context of an answer to someone who needs support.

The basic advice that several of us, including wandering, have given is to start planning and acting now so that when the time comes and the money has run out there will options in place.

And do understand, Holley, that if for whatever reason you do not wish to/cannot take mother into your home, you do not have to. My personal view is that for their own sake as well as for that of the parent children should see that their parents have good care. That does not mean they have to provide that care personally on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes it is really best if they do not try to.
Holley - A lot of good advice above. You are facing a difficult time and planning now is important not only for your mother and her appropriate care, but for you and your family. Bringing another person into your home, especially when it will require an enormous amount of time, for an unknown length of time, with a complex history of emotions, is a major consideration. What's best for your mother, you, and your family can only be determined by you. When my father could no longer live alone we hired caregivers so he could stay in his own home, which he insisted on. I was able to continue working and spend quality time visiting him. There was no question we loved each other, but we saw the world differently and it would have been stressful for both of us to always be together. He grew to love having his "companion" there for him; I loved that his "caregiver" fed, bathed, dressed, and chauffered him.
Engage the services of a care manager - CARE manager. It will cost a little to have an assesment, but they will determine the kind and amount of care she needs and will let you know of ALL of your options including funding sources. They can tell you what and how to care for her, they can take over her care or help you admit her to a care facility if that's appropriate, or they can offer partial services. Do an online search for care managers in your area.
Most important --- take care of your self! The stress on caregivers too often takes them out of the picture before the one who needs them goes.
I'm glad you are reaching out for support, keep it up.
Hugs to you.

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