How can anyone be "forced" to care for elderly?

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I read post headlines all the time about how someone was "forced"


I can understand how sometimes people make choices in life that leave them unprepared to be independent and thus end up feeling they need to live with an abusive, elderly parent....but that is still not "forced". Merely the end result of bad life choices. Unless they mean that they forced themselves to be in that situation.


My imagination may be lacking....but how is one "forced"? As adults, we can all choose to pickup and leave to have the parent removed from your own home. Sometimes it is just bucking up and not allowing the hospital to discharge back into your home.


Not saying it is ever easy...but it still isnt "forced".

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Being the only daughter, the closest (and now the one living with her, though at this point it is generally a mutually agreeable arrangement). And unmarried...

Anyways, if I state can force you to pay for care, and you can't afford it, then aren't you forced into being the hand one's caregiver. I suppose you could chose jail instead.
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Dear meallen,

I am sorry to hear about your brother. I know how it is with unhelpful siblings. It is so tough. After dad's stroke my siblings tried but I always felt like I was begging them to care about me and my dad. There would be things where I would say dad can't do it. I sometimes think being the oldest and sensitive one is a raw deal. Sending you hugs. I know you are doing the best you can.
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Forced is a funny concept. My brother was visiting and moved a heavy chest of drawers, leaving blocking the door to the bedroom I share with mum. I ask him to him me move it back. He said no. I said, I can't do it by myself, and if mum sees it, she'll try to do it. Even if I help her, she could get hurt. He said, that's her choice. End the end, I did it by myself. Yes, my choice. He's right. He's also a right bastard.
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extortion, yes, Tennessee says (under certain circumstances) the child is responsible -- that is, financially responsible for the COST of care, and for seeing that it is provided. There is no state in the US that forces people to do the hands-on caregiving.
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Rainmon... Yes, you are correct. One of those states is Tennessee. You live in the same home with the elder or visit frequently, you are defined as the caregiver & responsible.
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freqflyer, lol :) my name is suzy
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Filial responsibility is a financial duty. It doesn't and can't force someone to personally care for someone else. But it can make certain family members accountable for costs of care.

There are always choices about care. Always. Sometimes the alternatives seem totally unacceptable, but they are still there. People who say, "I have to take care of my father, who abused me as a child, because the other children are all MIA, or because I'm an only child, or because he refuses to go to a care center," are wrong. They don't HAVE to take care of that person. It may feel like it to them -- I don't mean they are lying -- and guilt may play a huge role in this, but they are kidding themselves. They cannot be forced to do the hands-on care.

Every now and then I reminded myself that it was my choice to care for my husband at home, and I could make a different choice if I needed to. I think that helped my attitude better than feeling like I "had" to do it.

Oops ... I see that this thread is 4 months old.

Extortion, no one can be "forced" to provide personal hands-on care for another person. There are always choices. If he or she is legally competent they can choose not to go to a care center. And the designated family member who is "supposed" to do the caring can decide not to provide the care. Then the impaired person can hire someone else, get by without help, or decide on a care center.

The caregiver's legal rights are to not be the caregiver. Obviously walking out in the middle of the afternoon and not letting anyone know is a bad choice! But giving notice and involving the appropriate agencies is perfectly legal.

Extortion, browse this forum and you will find MANY posts from family members who do not wish to continue being caregivers, with lots of advice about how to extricate oneself from the situation.
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A family caregiver, not properly trained yet held responsible, can be "forced" into caring for a family member when the family member imposes his care on an incapable family by refusing to move to a more suitable setting. Where are the caregiver's legal rights?
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There are - filial responsibility, isn't it? - and so far they've been applied to very rich adult children who have played the system and run up enormous care bills and expected other people to foot them and then complained when they got sued. Chutzpah!

One can imagine that as economies continue to deteriorate then the state will turn its attention to just averagely comfortable adult children whose parents are legitimately claiming Medicaid, rather than the cheating fat-cats they've gone for so far. Which is more of a worry. Here in the UK we've already had government ministers making noises about families' care responsibilities - purely from a lovin' kindness point of view, nothing to do with free care, of course!
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While it's not being forced in the traditional sense of the word - or as in having to physically do it yourself - aren't there states that by law, hold adult children responsible for their parents care?
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