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I'm new here, but I've been reading a lot of the discussions and I've felt such a sense of relief to see others with the same concerns and issues. I don't know what I need in posting this, whether I want support or advice or just to vent.

In a nutshell, my 81 year old father has been in assisted living for two years. It's been a non-stop battle between him wanting out of there and his sisters constantly harassing me about his care. They feel that I should have taken him into my home and cared for him myself. For various reasons, that just wasn't an option for me. In the meantime, his money has all dried up from his care at the home and all he has left are assets -- assets not worth the grief and hard work it's going to take trying to sell them all. The cars don't run and the home is overrun from a lifetime of hoarding. I know I should have been taking care of that mess when he went into the home, but it just didn't happen. Also, he wouldn't agree to sell anything up until June when he was still in his right mind. I do have durable POA, so I could have gone ahead and sold his things, but I was so worried that I'd get in trouble because he wasn't agreeing to it.

I'm at the point now where assisted living can't handle his needs anymore and they want him gone. He's blind, mostly deaf, in kidney failure and congestive heart failure and just extremely frail. He weighs over 200 pounds and has to be practically carried from bed to chair. So, here we are with no cash to pay a nursing home to take him. They want at least a month up front and we just don't have it, period. I've been running myself ragged talking to people and doing what I can to get him into a nursing home and keep running into brick walls every step of the way. Each person I talk to tells me the previous person was incorrect, and then just point me elsewhere.

Want to hear the real irony? Just three months ago he HAD been admitted to a nursing home for PT/OT and we fought to get him out of there because he didn't "need" to be in a nursing facility at that point. Now he needs to be and we can't get him through the door.

I did have him signed up for hospice, hoping that it would allow him to stay in assisted living longer, but they still want him gone. I was informed today that because of hospice, he can't be admitted to the nursing home for pt/ot at this point. It's absolutely frustrating. I can't eat or sleep and am so worried about what's going to happen. To make matters worse, I've never had a good relationship with him and I resent the hell out of having to go through all this while neglecting my own health.

Anyway, like I said, I don't know what I expect in posting all this. I just wanted to get it out -- there's actually so much more on my mind but I didn't want to write a novel. :(

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Welcome to the forums! Even if you don't know what you want, you are likely to get it here! :-D

Is your father on the last leg of his journey? Do you expect that he is going to die in the next several months? Generally, that is what hospice is about, and so the focus is on comfort, not on cures or improvement. That would be why PT and OT are not indicated at this point.

You can withdraw him from hospice. Do you think he would benefit from PT/OT, and that it would improve his life in some way? Are there any hospice houses in your area, that he could move into for his final months?

It sounds like you need to get him on Medicaid and place him in a skilled nursing facility. Nursing homes will often take residents on a Medicaid-pending basis. Inquire about that option. (Don't sign anything making you personally responsible for his costs!)

He can keep his house and one car and still be eligible for Medicaid. That would buy you some time to deal with them. What are his other assets? Life insurance? Any other property? Stocks, bonds, etc.? Now is the time to deal with these items.

Do you know what I think you should do first? Consult an attorney that specializes in elder law, for advice on how best to prepare to apply for Medicaid. Yup, spend some of that very scarce money to be sure you do things in the most advantageous (and, of course, legal) way. The lawyer won't be able to give you medical advice about whether Dad should or should not be on hospice, but he or she may be able to shed some light on the consequences of either decision. You can also find out the consequences of selling the house while Dad is still alive, vs waiting. And how to handle the other assets. You'll get advice on keeping track of all expenses, such as cleaning out a hoarder's house, and how to ensure you get reimbursed for those expenses when the house sells.

None of us are born knowing how to deal with these things. And if it is complicated enough to have a whole legal specialty, we shouldn't beat ourselves up that we need some professional help.

As for resenting having to do this for someone you don't even have a good relationship with, yeah, that sucks. So vent away! Rant! You are right! Life is not fair!

See a lawyer. Get the Medicaid ball rolling. Take some comfort in knowing that this won't last forever, and you are honoring your father, whether he deserves it or not.
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