2Weary Asked April 2010

My dad is 92 and my mom is 87. They both need help physically and mentally, but they don't get along at all. I can't afford to separate them. Does anyone have ideas of what I can do?

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My dad's blind with congestive heart failure, cognitive issues, on O2 and has balance issues. My mom's deaf, either has dementia or is faking it, has a repaired hip fracture and is extremely agitated and anxious and requires constant attention. My dad has excellent hearing, cannot stand her attention, and gets confused but doesn't know it. With or without outside care there are constant crises that are taking over my life. I don't think there is a solution, other than complete selfsacrifice (I'm the only one my dad will listen to--my mom believes only strangers--never family). I just wanted to post it. I'm planning on quitting one of my part-time jobs to take care of them. It will be hard because I have never enjoyed my mother's company but can't abandon my father.

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IsabelCares Apr 2010
Those are all excellent points ezcare has made, all worth serious consideration for any caregiver. You are in a tight spot, but one thing is clear. You recognize that you have come to a fork in the road and need to make a change.
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IsabelCares Apr 2010
While there are many solutions, the only solution that matters is the one you most feel comfortable choosing. As one person suggested by way of reply to your post, a social services assessment and referrals for both of your parents is one possibility. Another option is respite care if you don't want to quit your other part-time job. If that is what you really want to do, there is nothing wrong with leaving your part-time job to care for your parents part-time, either. There is also in-home care you may want to consider if you are comfortable with that. What about assisted living and, of course, there are nursing homes you may want to research if you are up to it. Whatever you do, do what feels right for you. Any decision you can live with that supports and assists your parents in the manner they need right now, will be the right decision. You have a lot on your plate. Hang in there, and don't be afraid to ask social services for help and guidance, even if it's only to help you think more clearly about your options. Another option is to start by talking to your parents' treating physicians and let them know the reality of your parents' declining health in-home. Ask them what they would suggest as possible next steps for each one knowing your current situation.

Deep breath, and one step at a time will get you there, ok? I promise.
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ezcare Apr 2010
This has got to be one of the most difficult situations we face in life. I agree with Hap, you need some help from an independent third party who is familiar with how situations like this are handled in your local community. At best you are facing a 24/7 commitment that can turn into double jeopardy (48 hr days) in a hurry. I would not quit any job or take any action until You are sure it is best for you and your parents. Otherwise you may be jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. A few things to do while you sort things out:: 1) Make sure your parents financial situation is in order. Do they have Wills, a beneficiary, and a designated Power of Attorney?
2) Do they have a Living Will that spells out how far they want doctors to go in keeping them alive with machines and resusitation?
3) Are they receiving all of the Medicare/Medicaid benefits for which they qualify?
4) Do they have any VA benefits or Long Term Care Insurance that can be used for their care if you are providing such care at home instead of via an Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Home?
5) Do they have burial insurance adequate to cover their final expenses?
Once you have the answers to these questions, you will be in a better position to decide what your next move should be. Otherwise you may only be "robbing Peter to pay Paul" as the old proverb explains.
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hapfra Apr 2010
Hi-Sorry to hear of this difficult situation that you are in with both your parents=who need care. Do you think it would be possible to have a social worker - or someone in your local department on aging come in, assess your situation, and offer you a plan of action? It sounds to me that quiting one of your part time jobs is NOT the answer, unless the family LEAVE ACT-COULD be beneficial in your case--You need to be able to step away from the situation for a while for your own peace of mind. Perhaps you can have them both put in a facility for a short period of time-so you can do just this.
Good Luck-and whatever happens, do not forget about yourself.
Hap
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Jaye Apr 2010
I really can relate...I am in much the same situation with my parents... I am checking into assisted living for them. It sounds to me that your parents need 24 hr care too... take care, Jaye
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