How do you deal when a parent doesn't use funds for the right purposes?

Asked by

Anyone have a parent who receives funds from the state for home health care but uses it for other things? Then expects his "kids" to do all the things so he doesn't have to "pay" someone and makes you feel bad because you don't have time to do it all?

Answers 1 to 10 of 19
OMG! Really? Outrageous!

If I were one of the kids, I would not do for free what he is receiving funds to pay someone to do.

Unless there is some really compelling extenuating circumstance here, like he uses the cash for a drug he could not otherwise afford, I might even be tempted to report his behavior to the funding source.
Top Answer
Yea i agree!! i went out everynight for 3 years after working all day to grocery shop, clean, cook, help him to bed, write bills, ect. i gave notice after going to a caregivers group and therapy for a year now. i go out and visit but i makes me mad at him - he complains he doesn't get exercise and help but doens't want to hire anyone he can't "afford" it. anyways it felt good to get it out!! I love him and i understand the stupid rules but it doesn't make it right for him to do this but he's been like this his whole life. I have been tempted to report him but in the end i realize he's making his choices and i have to make mine. thanks!
My sister has the same problem with my father. He expects her to come over every night after work. I'm a bit off the hook because I live far away. I think it's reasonable to set expectations and boundaries. Grocery shopping and a visit once or maybe twice a week and maybe a phone call daily is probably o.k., but every night, no. My dad phones my sister at least 5 times a day whining for her to come over. We know he's lonely, but he won't move and won't pay anyone to come in, even though he could afford it. Rather have my sister do it for free. Good luck.
Smile I am glad you brought up that subject -many elders think that they need to save money to leave after they die and are very tightfisted but they do not realoze that if they need complete care the money will be taken for nursing home care and they need to spend the money that they have or get as your father does for their care-some do not realize how hard it is to care for a person who lives alone-my husband told everyone I did not do much for him-the only time he used his hands were to eat. You need to set boundaries -start cutting back the time you spend decide how often you need to shop once a week or every other week whichever you decide and he needs to do more or hire-you would not report him but a nosey neighbor might and he could be in legal trouble and lawyers are not cheap-it is up to your sister what she does you can only control you. Let us know how it turns out we learn from each other on this form -I am glad you are going to a caregivers support group-I go to one to assist caregivers even though I am a former caregiver-I know the mistakes I made and at times can help those is the hard job of caregiving.
Depending on where the senior lives, in-home health services for cleaning, shopping, laundry, etc. may be available at no charge. There are financial criteria the recipient must meet in order to qualify. Relatives, friends and neighbors who are getting hooked into being free labor need to ask the person if they would be willing to accept help in the home if there is no charge. If they say "yes", then the relative or friend needs to spend some time finding out if they qualify for city, county, state or federal assistance to maintain independent living. Local directories under your county and state will list local aging agencies that you can call that will answer your questions. If a senior has "resources" NOT to include a car and home, and those resources exceed about $5,000, they are expected to spend that money first, before relying on government assistance. Once they are down to $5,000 in savings, they should be eligible for in-home help, which is usually 2-3 times a week. If the person needs medical attention for any kind of therapy or wound treatment, the person's doctor can order a home health agency in to assess needs under Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance. For socialization, find local senior centers that have activities, and accompany them there the first time or two. These centers can be hot beds of activities for all levels of interest and abilities. Transportation can be provided by senior centers, handicapped services or senior transportation agencies. Making some calls to find out what is available is the first step.
You really can't do much unless they are declared incompetent and you are appointed their legal guardian.
The amount of money my mother has wasted over the past decade on QVC is shocking.
It's amazing how much phrases like "and then [he] makes you feel bad" come up on this forum. Our parents getting older seems like a time in which WE need to grow up and take responsibility for our own feelings and actions, which would make us less vulnerable to manipulation. If spending all my money on whatever I liked and then acting like other people should fill in the gap for me WORKED, I might be tempted to do it too.
Unless a parent is deemed incompetent they can spend their money as they see fit. We just went thru this with my father-in-law who "blew" thru over $600,000 in just under 5 years. He bought new cars for himself and his girlfriend, took many trips which he paid for, paid everytime they went out to eat, and paid her to come clean his house which was a joke. There was nothing we could do to stop him. He would always say - it's my money and I will spend it the way I want to. And he did. Good luck !!
Oh forgot to mention that my father-in-law even cashed in life insurance policies that he had bought for my husband that were matured for the cash. You would not believe the horror stories. Make sure to check out their wills ---- we stopped over $75,000 going to the 85 year old "girlfriend" before his death.
Breadbaker, you need to tell your sister about this website.

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