Can I be forced to care for a parent?

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I have been caring for my 88 year old father since 1989. He is 88 and blind, with dementia, and has lived with me for the past 17 years. The dementia has been rather severe for the last several years, and he was quite abusive and demanding. After recent hospitalization, he has been placed in a nursing home. They get his Social Security, he is on medicaid, has no assets and is basically destitute.
I have recently been declared disabled myself, my health is not good. I have a modest house, a car but that's it. I know this may sound strange, but I am terrified that Medicaid or some other agency or the nursing home will force me to take him back home. I have done all I physically can. Legal advice?

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I agree with Jeannegibbs, you've done more than your share. Your dad is now on Medicaid and you don't have the financial, physical or emotional resources to take care of him again. If you find you keep worrying about this, you may want to check with the ombudsman for the nursing home. Go to www.ltcombudsman.org and type in the Zip code of the home. The contact person should be able to answer your questions.
Take care,
Carol
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In analyzing your problem two things come to mind -- (1) your personal problem and (2) the rights of anyone else with the same issue. Number two provides the answer. Slavery has been abolished since the Civil War. You cannot be forced to serve as a caretaker either if you are disabled yourself or as any individual according to the U S Constitution. It's called involuntary servitude and it is as illegal as can be imagined. Have no fears and good luck in your own condition.
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When caseworkers arrange for someone's care and placement, they are legally bound to make certain the caregiver is physically capable of providing care. You have been declared disabled, and it would be totally wrong for one disabled person to provide care for another severely ill, disabled person. I hope you will let go of the guilt and worry and take care of yourself. Rebecca
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I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think you need legal advice. I can't imagine any way you could be forced to take care of your father personally. Medicaid made a decision that he qualifies for aid. Unless he has a miraculous cure, he will remain qualified. The NH is getting the compensation they agreed to. Even if they decided they can no longer provides the services he needs, they would be sending him to another facility, not to the home of a disabled relative.

If it would make you feel better, talk to the social worker at the NH about your fears.

You have cared for your father for an amazingly long time. Congratulations. Now you deserve to relax and focus on caring for yourself.
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Being abusive and demanding you may fear that the facility will terminate his residency- which has been known to happen. They may either do it in writing or some do it a little more covert- the patient is hospitalized and they either say that they no longer have room for him or that they can no longer provide for the type of care he needs. Then either they or you will need to locate another facility that is more appropriate- no one can force you to take him back. Speak with a social worker (in advance) to find other appropriate living arrangements should this occur and to ease your fears.
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There is no law, that I am aware of, that can force you to care for another. It sounds as if you have gone above and beyond in caring for your father. As long as the facility continues to receive his Social Security check there really should be no need for him to return to your home.
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You are not legally bound to care for another adult if you choose not to or cannot. It is not the same as being a parent of a minor child.
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Bless you for all that you have done so far!
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AI aree with all of the above. Only thing I can add sounds harsh, but if you have read what I have on this site, you must not take him into your home under any circumstances especially if he has a histrory of abusiveness. You must not give into guilt or even the natural feeling of responsability. Do or think of anything else. Your life will be over as you know it. And that is the truth.
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Thank you for your comments. It is just that in my minimal experience with law, what one might think is not always what the law says. I suppose stress has caused my "phobia".
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