I've been caring for my parents since I was 9, and I'm now 45 and engaged. Is it wrong to want to pursue my life with someone?

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I've taken care of my folks since I was 9, I'm 45 and finally engaged but can't bear to stop caring for them. They are both near the point of needing a NH and I'm so torn over putting them in. I fly every two weeks from Denver to Detroit to spend two weeks caring for them. Caregivers are draining me ($1500 a week). I feel like I'm giving up on them by thinking about a NH but they need constant care. When I'm with them, I get no sleep, just constantly up n down. I want my life and don't want to end another (this is #13!!!) relationship b/c of my parents. 7 siblings all have their lives, I'm the one taking care of both of them now. I guess I'm looking for support and permission. Is it so wrong that I want a life with someone. It's too late for me to have kids but not to get married. Thanks to whoever writes back. There's more of course but can't be longwinded on here. lol.

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Sounds like you've got a plan. Good! I hope it works out for you.

My husband *85, dementia) wanted me to promise him I would never put him in a nursing home. Since I know that my extensive skills and powers do not include the ability to see into the future, I promised him that I would do all that I humanly could to care for him in our home, and that if the time came when that was not possible I would not abandon him but continue to care for him where he was placed. That is a promise I think I can keep.

Once when he was feeling down he said, "If I ever get so you can't take care of me, just stick me in a snowbank in the back yard and let nature take its course." I replied, "If I did that the neighbors would call the police, you'd be in a Nursing Home within the hour and I couldn't even vist you because I'd be in jail for neglect."

If your mother ever has increased medical expenses, she may well change her mind about Medicaid (assuming it is still around), unless she has considerable assets to pay her own way. But let's home she'll never need more care.
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I talked to my future bride. We both agreed that we will not start a relation in my house where my parents live. (It is the one hen in the henhouse syndrome) that has been my experience. My lady understands my position. She is quite christian. I will not take advantage of her patience. We are early in the relationship. She has her apartment in houston. My parents had me promise not to put them in a nursing home. I believe my father's next step will have a live in provider. My mother can still care for herself. With help from above, I feel like I have about 2 years to get a plan together. I will talk to the siblings again.
You have been genuine
thanks
oh my mother is not on medicaid and she does not want medicaid. She does not like the idea how medicaid controls the income. I wish I could show her all that is being paid by medicaid compared to my father's income. He has a mattress that medicaid is paying $800 a month for..
bye for now
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I am giving you permission, get married, place them in a NH, visit when you can, and go have a life..... go for it... hugs across the miles to you ,deal with the guilt later, you deserve happiness too.
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Your parents are very fortunate that you have been able to care for them for 4 years. I am sure that has given your father his best chance of recovering as much as he could to his baseline.

Could they continue on their own without you there, if they had additional shifts of caregivers? But that brings up at least two issues. This is your home. Do you intend to live there with your wife, or were you planning to set up housekeeping elsewhere? And at some point bringing all that care into the house becomes more expensive than placement, and Medicaid needs to make cost-efficient decisions.

It sounds like your parents need more medical care than most ALs could provide.

This is beginning to point more and more to a skilled nursing facility, isn't it? Is your mother also on Medicaid. Financially the transition should be pretty smooth. You would continue with handling their affairs. You would visit them frequently. You would give up your role as errand runner and second shift caregiver and take on the role of fulltime advocate. I know you would not dump your parents in a facility and expect things to run smoothly on their own. You would be there for them and make sure they are getting good care, and see to it that deficiencies were corrected, etc.

Even if they are in a LTCF, your parents are still going to take up a portion of your attention and your time. You and your future wife would need to be very clear about that from the beginning. But in those circumstances it would be possible, with an understanding wife, to build a life together. I don't think that is as likely to be possible if you try to bring your new bride into the home you've established with your parents.

What do you think?

And congratulations on providing hands-on care for four years. You can feel very good about that.
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Jeanngibbs thanks for your response. I needed to know someone understands.
my father is 90 years old. He is on a Medicaid CBO program. He lives with me at my home. He was transferred out of a nursing home. He went to the nursing home about a year and a half ago to recover from a broken arm. When he was released he could not walk. He was walking with a walker before he went into the nursing home. Then he could not swallow well so he had a peg tube put in. He is back on puree food after taking some speech therapy.. His medicaid program provides nursing skills and therapy and caregivers.He has a provider in the morning and I do the evening and weekends. Being the power of attorney for my father, I handle all of his affairs.
Now my mother is 79. She has a nagging ulcer on her ankle ( no bone infection) and she has cervical stenosis. I am the only driver in the family. So I pick up all medicines and buy food and trips to walmart. I have 3 siblings but bad communication with daughter and mother and brother and mother eliminates the two from physical help. The third expects to be paid
This is a lengthy explanation but i think I covered the basis of what you asked.
Sincerely
Richard
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Rpscaregiver, if your parents live with you and you manage their financial affairs, in what sense are you the "backup provider"? Who is primary?

What are your parents' impairments? Could they live on their own, with some support? Would they need skilled nursing care if they didn't live with you? A few more details would perhaps encourage more specific answers.

You are right, though. I don't see a quick fix on the horizon. That doesn't mean there won't be a satisfactory answer, just that you'll have to work at it.
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Let's review the math here......You were nine years of age when you started taking care of your parents? How old were they when you were nine? According to your statement, you have been caretaking for 36 years...???
Somebody call the cops.
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I am 57 with 3 siblings. I am the backup provider and manage my fathers medicaid program. I bought a house for my parents to be close to medical help. My parents live with me. They are 90 and 79. This has been good for 4 years. Now i have found someone I want to marry. As the above story says, go on with your life or live a life alone. The managing of my fathers program is quite extensive.
I can not leave my parents stranded, but I do not want to lose this lady either. She is a Christian woman with a lot of understanding. I need to respect her and her limitations. I do not think there is a quick fix.
thanks rps
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Congratulations on your marraige and I cant imagine how hard it is to put them in a home. As long as you visit as often as possible, you will feel better. My Mom gets VA and your post got me concerned, what happened, why, will we have to pay back anything? My mom lives with me. Thanks
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Haven't been on here since last July. I did get married on October 10, 2010. We had the shebang videod for my parents. When my dad saw it he said is this for real?

My folks are in worse condition and even though I've had them on the waiting list a the best nursing home in town for 3 years, they are no closer to getting in. So I am being forced to put them in a sub-standard nursing home in town. They have used all their money. Oh yeah, and in the past few months, the VA wanted back $30000 from my 89 year old WWII veteran father, and Medicaid is penalizing them each with three months penalty for the nursing home. What a nightmare. So there you have it. I'm feeling awful guilt because I cannot get them into the best nursing home and it's going to be awful for them to go to this other one. But hey, I will get my life back. My new husband is thankfully so far understanding but who knows what he does when I'm gone for so long at a time and he's alone.

THanks for all your kindnesses of last year. Just thought I'd update you and say hi.
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