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1) NJ homeowners who are over 65 and who have no more than about $79K in gross income can benefit from a Real Estate Tax Freeze (this is different from the NJ Real Estate Tax Rebate program for seniors). I didn't know about this and seems nobody in Mom's town does but I discovered it online. The tax collectors office did not know of this. If the senior meets the few criteria, the RE Taxes will be frozen at the point that you first apply as long as you continue to apply year by year. My Dad applied in 1996. Had I known, my mother's RE Taxes would have been about 60% of what she had been paying these last six years.
2) Elderly veterans who need assistance meeting their expenses (I believe that these are medical or caregiving expenses but take a look online for the particulars) can receive as much as $2000 per month from the VA. The processing time takes at least 6 months (by directive it must not take longer for the VA to acknowledge a claim). Call the number listed online for expert information regarding how to apply for your elder's particular circumstances. Be pushy about describing those circumstances, because you might have to file one application, or as many as five applications, plus two statements (notorized), plus a copy of the trust, plus a copy of the deed to the house (as I must). WIDOWS AND WIDOWERS of veterans also can qualify for similar support, but this is more limited -- around $1000 per month. I think many people are unaware of these benefits and I wonder what else is out there.
CB,There are so many of us with the same story as you. Nothing left but at least we can live with ourselves!
Didn't mean to rant. This subject always opens an old wound. But - hey - taking care of my mom WAS a good experience and I met so many wonderful people in her building, too. I could not find a job after she died in November 2008, so I went back to school! So while I am still angry at my sister for her "my way or the highway" attitude, I do not at all regret what I did.
Family - that's your deadliest enemy - especially if you're in one that is all sociopaths save for myself. - at 60, I've lost everything, my pension, my inheritance (the house is willed to me alone in my mom's inheritance) the "kid" has bankrupted my mother (stole 100,000) so the home he is squatting in will soon be a liquidated asset on the IRS Auction block. We've lost everything to a treacherous family member who hovered around my mother's pension while the rest of us got up every day and went to work. Born in 1977, he flunked freshman year 3 times in a row, and to this day can't read or write - WTF is happening to "kids" today??!! I didn't have any, for this very reason.
WOW - 88 year old woman can't get a moment's peace at the dinner table or in bed at 2am in the morning without that brat calling her and screaming at her.
Well I have POA now. I cut him off.
I'll see him in court. He has an eviction notice, restraining order and I'm suing him for stealing from the estate.
When his step-father died, neither he nor his mother called 911. the father told my sister he was going to leave her, she was telling him she was going to take him for everything, the "boy" 24 at the time, was saying: "I wish you were dead already". The father had just had a triple bipass 3 weeks earlier and now under duress he went into stroke and a 50 year old woman with a masters in diabetic management (my mother is diabetic, and she has never taken care of her) and a 24 year old "man" stood by and didn't call 911. an hour later the fater died in the doctor's office and the next day my sister was 600,000 dollars richer. And now they want my mother's house!
she bought paid in full that house all by herself and her kids are now trying to steal it! wow!
Can you expand on the caregivers contract. I have never heard of this.
What are the terms and how do you arrange for something like this?
This sounds like it could be extremely helpful information.
I have been out of work for 5 years now with Mom and so far in the hole financially that I may need to get something part time while she is in daycare. I will be able to collect SS in August and that will be a huge help! In the meantime, I just keep on plugging like everyone else. Mom has PD and advanced dementia so she is in a wheelchair and needs total care. Can't even hold a conversation with her for the past year, but she still enjoys TV, eating when you can get her to open her mouth, and being outside when the weather gets better. It was 5 degrees here this morning!
Palm Springs is beautiful!! I have been there a few times back in the 90's, when my terroritory was from Sacremento to San Diego. I had the pleasure of driving from Los Angeles to Palm Springs in the summer heat. I was probably the only fool in a convertible with the top down and the air conditioner on.
Sorry the movie was a bit long for your mom. My mom has issues too sometimes with things. If my mom is not engaged, she will go to sleep in her wheelchair. We took her to a beach on the cruise we went on last year to watch the great grandchildren in the water. It was not interesting enough so she fell asleep and woke up with a suntan X on her foot, the only place we forgot sunscreen.
We try to vary mom's activities and keep her interested. Today we just did some shopping, but it got her out in the Sun. She is thrilled about the sun today because where my siblings live it was only about 7 degrees above 0 without the wind chill. So she was very excited about the sun today.
I hope your brother is ok, that is tough for the back surgeries. My husband's mom had a lot of back surgeries.
You should take your mom to Catalina, it might just be the thing to give her a good day. Last May, after our cruise we stopped to visit a friend of mine in Tampa. My friend's mother had a brain tumor that had the same effects as Alzheimer's. So we decided to take our elderly mom's to the zoo. My friend called me for days to say thank you for coming by and getting them out. It was the best day her mom had had in a very long time. In fact, she passed 4 to 6 weeks after that, but it was a good day that her mom even remembered weeks later.
Sometimes the trips we think will be the hardest will be well worth the time. Believe my siblings know that I am a force to be reckoned with, that is probably why we don't get a long so well. You know the truth hurts sometimes. :-)
Mom was feeling a little better today so we decided to venture out. We'd been wanting to see Les Miserables, so we went to the movies. It's a great movie, but long. I didn't think it would be hard on Mom, since she would be sitting the whole time. Apparently I was wrong. She barely made it out of the theater, and by the time we got home, wouldn't even eat anything, just headed straight for bed.
She has a friend from out of town that is coming to see her tomorrow, and Mom thinks she's going to be well enough for the two of them to go out to lunch. I just don't see how that's going to be possible. Mom just turned 82. She was pretty healthy up until about 4 years ago. Then she really started going downhill. Heck, in 2005, Mom and I went to the Big Island together and hiked to the active flow of the volcano - about 4 miles round trip over uneven terrain. I thought that was pretty good for "two old broads" LOL
I just found my brother may need another back surgery, so it's kind of up in the air if he'll be coming down or not. He's already had 17 back surgeries. He gets his MRI tomorrow. Should know more next week. Poor guy has really been through the wringer.
I really wanted to take my Mom to Catalina. She was born and raised in LA, and never went there! Now she'd never make it. That, I think, will be my biggest regret. That I didn't take Mom to Catalina while she could still go. So tell your siblings where to get off and enjoy those trips!
It sounds like you have a lot of visitors and that is great for your mom! I am sorry she is sleeping and losing weight, it is tough to watch a parent go downhill. After how my dad passed, I was not expecting this with my mom but I believe God knows what he is doing.
It sounds like you live in the South, I lived in Naples, Florida and summer was not the time to be there.
Sadly, my mom lives in a small town and people just don't come for a visit. Her younger siblings do not travel and of course have their own health issues as well. At first we took mom around to visit everyone, but then I was given some crap about caring for her and not putting her in a home. So we said screw it and we are going to have a good time.
I think my mom has a few siblings that are jealous because their kids won't travel and take them places like we do with my mom. My parents always took us on vacations to all sorts of places. So we figure this is the least we can do and we do not worry about what others think any more, I just put on my direct hat and tell them to mind their own business.
How old is your mom?
My brother is a great guy. He is retired because of disability, but he comes down from Oregon whenever he's needed. Now, I have to say that it's not difficult enticing anyone to come here and take over for awhile - we live in a tourist destination, and when people come here they have a guest "casita" they can stay in with their own tv, refrigerator, and bathroom. Our winter temperatures average about 68-75 degrees. So far this winter, my brother has come down for 2 weeks, my daughter for 2 weeks, my niece for 5 days, my brother is coming again on the 6th for another 2 weeks, then my 90 yr. old MIL will be coming for 2 weeks. This is just since Thanksgiving! In the summer it's a different story - even we try to get out of here!!!
It is broken, she has a brace on it. The doctor said she probably had some form of osteprosis that was not taken care of. The doctor said is uncommon today for people to live with broken bones because most of the time it is their hip, but he said there is no reason she can't live a long time with it just the way it is.
Her leg is broken just a couple of inches past the knee, it did seal some, but not completely. She moved wrong during the healing process and it broke some of it loose. The doctor offered her surgery, but he wasn't sure that the pins would heal in the bone. My mom said no because she did not want to be put under, she knew that I would care for her no matter how many arguments we have.
She broke it in Sept. 2011, but because of the 2 infections in the leg they couldn't even do a cast. You see cellulitis can kill you if you cover it, so she wore a leg brace. The leg brace broke and medicare only pays for one every 5 years, so the doctor told me I could use other things or she could go without. She likes the braces we are using now because it gives her a bit of support.
Thanks, I use to think I was more like my dad but I am finding that I have my mother's toughness to fight and survive to go the distance. We even travel with her in a 5th wheel and plan on doing so until she is unable to help us or in a bad way. She actually does much better when we travel. My mom and dad use to love to go on vacation or go camping on weekends. So we try to take her a cruise every year to different ports and take her around the country. She has been able to see all of her siblings even though they do not come see her. My mom was from 12 siblings, with 9 of them still living.
This year we promised to take her out of the cold to Texas for a few months, then we go back to her home, then prepare for this year's cruise to 4 new countries.
Sadly, though it is not just my siblings, but her siblings that will have regrets. I have had my share of battles over the past year or so, but like I said I will fight and I will fight for my mom. I had 2 of her sisters tell a bunch of other family members or anyone that will listen that I should put my mom in a nursing home. In fact one of those aunts has a son that tried to tell me the same thing and I politely put him in his place and he knew not to bring that subject up again. :-) I did have someone tell me that the reason my mom's leg didn't heal was because I traveled with her all the time, but I put them in their place and I just won't deal with them either.
She does real well for a lady with a broken leg, the biggest challenge is the mental state. I have told my siblings and a couple of my mom's, but she doesn't want me to share it with the rest of her siblings. She says whether or not they know will not change their attitudes in coming to see her. She has good moments and that was one of them.
Do you care for your mom still? Sometimes I forget what I read because I work online and read a lot of information. I am fortunate that my education has paid off and afforded me to work from home. Because I have to work and am not at the retiring age for at least another 10+ years.
I just know that I will have a lot of wonderful and fun memories that I am writing down. I also would like to encourage people to focus on the positive memories that you make when caregiving. My mom and I have the funniest stories from the bathroom, I know it sounds weird, but we have had our challenges in some places but also good laughs.
I am sorry this is a bit long, but it is really a different kind of story from most. The broken leg is where we begun and it is quite uncommon.
You seem to have a really good outlook. It's too bad your siblings are choosing to not participate in your mother's life. Later on they may very well regret the choice they made. You will not have those regrets.
My parents were married for 50 years before my parents died and we too were raised in a loving family. But for some reason as we got older everyone went their separate ways.
I lived away from my parents for over 20 years before deciding to come back and help my mom clean her home. My mom is a pack rat in a serious manner, so my husband and I were going to help out for 6 months or that was our plan.
We left mom alone for 2 days, actually less than 48 hours. My older sister was checking in on mom and taking her to breakfast to see one of her friends. When she came to pick up my mom, my mom was in pain in her leg. To this day we wonder if mom fell, but she swears she didn't. Before all was said and done, mom had cellulits and burcistis (not sure on spelling) and what they thought was a hairline fractor. They couldn't prove the fractor, but while trying to get her back on her feet she did fall and then it was broken. So that is when my caregiving began.
After 9 months of a broken leg, the doctor said it wasn't going to heal, so my caregiving became permanent. My sisters have a wide variety of excuses from their own aches and pains to things I wouldn't go into online. I get minimal amounts of assistance and they are not big, one sister will not lift a finger.
I wanted to have mom checked out for dementia recently, one didn't care one way or another, the other 2 kept saying it was just old age and her pacemaker. Well a CT scan revealed brain shrinkage and the loss of brain cells, then there was not being able to get my name right. So mom was diagnosed with full blown Alzheimer's somewhere between mild to moderate, he is not sure because she does things from all of the stages. My two sisters that didn't want to listen to me feel blindsided, but what is worse is their lack of phone calls.
So my husband and I have made a comment to try and make her last days and memories to the best of our abilities and financial means without them. It doesn't mean we keep them out of her life or anything, but we do not let their actions frustrate us a whole lot. Do I wish they were more involved, yes I do, but my husband and I are still young by alot of standards so we are doing what we need to without them.
Actually, we do our best to overcome every obstacle that comes our way. I am fortunate that I have had a few close friends that also took care of aging parents so they are my support system. If I get to feeling down, they are there for me.
It has been an interesting journey.
However, people who become caregivers for the elderly usually fall in the 50-70 year old group. If they are not financially well set already, quitting their jobs will jeopardize their own economic future. If they are in the 55-65 year old group, which many of us are, the implications of quitting jobs is more profound. If I understand right, Social Security is based on what we were making the 10 years before we retire. If we make nothing, we get very little.Then what is to become of us as we become elderly? Age discrimination is real and the chance of getting a good job at an advanced age is not good.
I do not think people should quit their jobs unless their futures are well set. Caregiving can put a strain on relationships, and I am not surprised when I read accounts of spouses leaving. If someone is working, IMO, they should continue to work. There are other options. One does not want to take he food away from the caregiver so the care receiver can have it when there are other ways to handle the circumstance. (Sometimes we have to pull away from emotional considerations and look at things logically.)
I know I am fortunate! My brother and I were raised by two loving parents. They were high school sweethearts who remained devoted to each other until Dad died in 2005. Mom is not difficult to live with, and Dad left her financially comfortable. Both my brother and I hope that she lives long enough to spend all her money, although that is not likely. My brother is retired himself, so it doesn't cut into his work to come visit. He has even talked about moving down to take care of Mom, which I discouraged him from doing, as all his kids and grandkids are up there, and I know how I felt when I moved away from mine. The grandchildren are only young once.
You are fortunate! I know many caregivers and their siblings have all pulled the same stunts. I hear far more horror stories about siblings not doing their part than thos that do. You should be grateful, because most are not so lucky!