Are we responsible for parents poor choices if they decline nursing/assisted living care & really refuse to pay for an in-home caretaker?

MIL has many health issues and FIL has mild dementia. Neither one of them will listen to our suggestions for planning for future care and feel as though they can handle it on their own. However they call us almost daily asking for help with things. My FIL hardly remembers to take his meds on time or at all, has hearing loss and refuses to pay a dime for them. My MIL has every known ailment known to man all because she has neglected her health and now blames all of us as to why she feels this way. Most of the brunt falls on my husband and me and I am at my wits end as to what can be done to assist them. MIL is also Narcisstic so that creates another wrench in things. They haven't planned for their future in the least, no will, trusts, no savings, and they do not own their home. Everything that we suggest to them they have been known to cover their ears and act like a 2 year old. I have no problem assisting and helping but when my MIL is downright mean and blames us all for her issues and my FIL won't listen and wants to do things his way and they tell us to stop hounding them then what else can we do that won't get us into trouble if something should happen to them if we do just back away and grant them their wishes?

Answers 1 to 6 of 6
Yes u r if that what u want,it's all about ur choice?
Yes u r if that what u want,it's all about ur choice? look when we were their child they did for us,well now we have to do the same thing for them.
Johnnycares- Thanks for your reply but I guess what I'm asking, is if we would be legally responsible for their actions and poor choices if we would decide to walk away because they refuse nursing / assisted living care and don't want to pay for the sufficient amount for in-home care. They feel as though all care should be FREE. I do clearly understand the fact that they cared for us while we were growing up however we can not quit our jobs to give them the care that is needed 24/7. That would be giving up our dreams and our future of which we are not willing to do nor do we feel as though their lack of planning should be our responsibility. We are more then willing to assist them with finding the proper care but they are refusing everything that we suggest. Without being their legal custodians I wouldn't think that we would be legally responsible for them. We do not want that responsibility. They have refused doing a will, a trust or life insurance over the years as well. I truly believe they need to except that responsibility. I hope that I'm not sounding ruthless because that is not my intentions in the least. We have been there for them countless times while in and out of hospitals and rehab/ nursing homes but they refuse to help us help them and try to convince us that is our fault for the reason they are the way they are. Sometimes we each need to suffer our own responsibilities.
Top Answer
You are completely right "havefaithingod". You cannot change what hasn't been done and should not give up your life because of another's poor choices. Please contact your local senior services group or their doctors to get home health care assessments. It is a pretty simple process and a determination will be made if they are able to take care of themselves and what in home services they need. Medicare pays for all if not most of this. You can even check about Medicare/Medicad approved nursing homes.

I do not believe we are to give up our health, marriage, family or future to provide care for those who have not had the responsibility to provide for themselves. If you read other posts, you will find loving children who have given up and/or lost everything to care for a parent.

It sounds harsh but there is an absolute limit to what a family can do. No one forced anyone to make the decisions that were made in the past.

Good luck and God bless! I know how difficult it is!
littletonway - Thanks for providing some incite into this. I didn't think that we were legally responsible unless we had the courts draw up a custodial order on them with us being their primary caregivers and such. But we are not and I refuse to take on such responsibilities. I will pass along the suggested information to my husband and siblings so that they can do the proper research. Oh my yes I have read a few posts where others have moved in with their parents or vice verse and it has really strained their marriage as well as some it has damaged their marriage beyond repair. That is certainly not worth it at all. Especially for those parents who are so selfish / self-centered and have never planed for anything in the future. Again thanks for the suggestions. Oh goodness, yes it is most certainly difficult.
I'm in similar boat. My mom is dementia and mid ALZ. She shouldn't be living alone and of late, isn't taking care of herself - not eating or preparing meals for herself. My brother and I live long distance. For the last two years and particularly as she has deteriorated last 3 months; she refuses all outside help. She won't move; she refuses in home care, meals on wheels. She does not ask for my help but I continue to feel guilty that I can't be there to help. I believe she would want me to move closer and take care of her; but that is not possible as I work full time and have a travel job and family. She basically "doesn't want anyone in her business". The last several times I have called to check on her -- she doesn't like answering questions about how she is caring for herself or if I can arrange for some help for her -- she hangs up on me. I have taken off and taken her to drs; neurologist appts this summer. She threw away the ALZ meds but still takes Aricept -- though I'm not seeing any change. I called Meals on Wheels and Senior Services to please talk to her. Although they will make a call - they told me that if she refuses their help or refuses to see anyone there is nothing they can do to force her. The only thing I can pray is that she makes it past the phone call and they are allowed to send someone to assess her. I had no luck with her internist or neurologist to help me talk her into assistance.

Sorry, one of my many vents on this site...but it is all so hard to watch your loved ones unnecessisarily suffer. I would not recommend anyone be full time caregiver if the loved one can at all afford in home or outside care. I think the unknowns of how the disease or needs will progress is too much for anyone who is not skilled care to take on. This is both an emotional and physical toll on not only oneself; but one's family.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

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