I too am in a what seems like an impossible situation. I moved in to help out my elderly parents. A year later I lost my job, soon after my 84 year old father was diagnosed with cancer. I cared for him 24/7 until his passing six months later. I have now been caring for my mother whom ,with dementia, was very dependent on my father and is now with me. She needs a caregiver on a constant basis. My mother has her money and I have mine. I also have a $55k student loan that is outstanding and constant stress for me. I have cashed out my last 401k to live on. Sallie Mae was kind enough to let me know, with the minimum payments I can make, my total loan will end up being over 100k. That's my future retirement. Currently with no income and my small nest egg slowly dwindling away I find myself in dire straits.
I have no idea what to do while time and money keeps clicking away.....
I know this is a growing problem in our society. We need help...
Sorry I don't think I've been very helpful, but it was good that your mother had so much to start with. My folks had nothing but the land.
home , the Brother still living at moms and wouldn't leave, we had a meeting with all kids and they all agreed I could use some of moms money for a down pmt on house we could all fit into.So while I was at work a community mental health councelor contacted me and said by lawshe had to tell me my brother had threatened to kill me! then mom then himself. So that was scary and then one other brother and sister went to pick her up with the pretense they were taking her to dinner and they took her to my sisters house for safty. She stayed there until we could find a satisfactory place. Meanwhile I had been taking prescription pain Meds for about 10 years for back pain and my sister was dealing anything and everything and growing weed with her medical marijuana card. So she started offering me more pills because so was so dependent and she new I had access to moms money so if was taking and buying more and more. Found a perfect house with full apt in basement, used $70,000 of moms money for down. Bout the way we had to remove mom from her house was such a shock I think it drove her into next stages of the disease and we couldn't use the basement for her. I paid my sister while mom stayed there, and paid her friends she hired for help, paid brother to pack and empty house, which he didn't finish.during moms stay at sisters I would go over every day to see her and she would grab my hand and beg me to take her with me...broke my heart and sister was bragging and telling funny story she almost had mom convinced to smoke some pot with her. I was furious! So become more and more addicted and includes shopping I guess to reward myself or whatever I was doing. The reason mom had to live with me on not the other siblings was, the oldest is on ssi disability, and the one dealing to supplimentd her lifestyle, the older brother is the one threatened killing and has huge anger prob and is trying to get on Ssi. He was diagnosed with ms, younger brother was a Lpn mom didn't want to be there with him to take care of her personnel needs and he is a par ting alcoholic, youngest sister is mentally handicapp and not capable of that kind of care for someone. She does hold a job tho in housekeeping in a nh. Mom and I were always very close and she wanted to be with me, but couldn't tell any of her children that so she'd hurt their feelings..because the siblings have never really liked me they don't come to visit mom, they don't call and if they do they fight with her (more so in the beginning cause she can't use the phone ) both sisters have always been extremely jealous of me for a reason I don't know, since we were children, cutting to the chase mom has now been bed ridden for about 30 months the care has gotten extremely hard, she has bouts of constipation and severe dirrea, has has ibs for 40 years. She cannot do anything for herself. Hospice has been with us for about 36 months and raves her care has been outstanding never has skin breakdown, is always clean, I sit with her every night from 8 to 12 and watch tv, read to her, hold hands. Hospice states she would not have lived this long if it weren't for the wonderful care she gets. Oh I forgot to mention she has multiple myoloama as well and her whole left side is restricted and muscles drawn in.
My family has given up everything. I spent all of my 401 k have had no medical have had to pay monthly premiums for medical ins. I got clean and sober with a recovery program have been clean for 3 yes coming in jan. I went through 470,000 of moms money my siblings are seeing me for it. I lost guardian ship of course and have asked for $7000 a months month for her care because the facilities in this are in skilled nursing is $8000 a month. That would help me pay back her estate which I agree I owe. Went to court and the judge will only give me $4500 a month and siblings are going through the steps to bring legal charges against me. We have adopted a 2 year old granddaughter since birth to her mentally challenged mother and we have custody of a 14 yr old grandson. So with my mother not being gone yet and the monthly care I give her is adding up for repayment. How will the amount be determined that I owe back if she is not gone yet, and it looks like they are not allowing me any credit for my part of inheritance which should be credited. And why couldn't my sisters have helped me get sober rather then keep lining their pockets, I forgot to mention the one sister was getting pill rx from her dr and selling them to me for street prices. So everything is a mess....oh and the siblings stole all kinds of things from parents house but they are not being, held responsible for. A large coin collection antiques, and not sure what else my brother took while packing the house. So I know I totally messed up but I think I should be allowed to be paid what it would have cost to put mom someplace cause she has gotten totally one on one great care. What does everyone think?
I don't know how in the world they would deal with that. Maybe some kind of a new disability?
If this scenario were to play out in present day the banks would be more accommodating; back then they were ruthless and didn't much care if we were on the street. Thank you, Citibank!!!
We rented a house after selling the one we owned, then moved into my parents' home in March 2012 when it became apparent that dad, 93, could not function without full time live-in help. So we have been here since.
Mom is in a NH. If dad should pass while mom is still in NH we will be thrown out of the house. I have no idea where we will go. Probably a shelter. This is a continual worry that I've learned I simply have to live with. Yeah, there are days that I wish I were dead. Just like a million other people who are in similar situations. I don't dwell on it; I can't. I just Get On With It. Life has a way of still going forward even when you don't want to.
By the way: Sister is an RN; doesn't "believe" in antidepressants although they have helped my dad and I enormously (he is on them without her knowledge). Husband suffers himself from depression but since he was raised that you are "wacko, cuckoo, nuts", etc., if you suffer from mental illness he is in deep denial.
What can I say? Life simply trots on, some days good, some days bad. Everyone adjusts. No life-changing epiphanies occurred with any of the people in my life as I'd hoped; perhaps it will wake up others. That would be nice.
We live hand to mouth. Although I'm "prohibited" from doing so, every 3 months or so when things are really desperate food wise I ask dad for help and he will give me about $100 to buy groceries.
I've been reprimanded for this by Sister Dear AND my husband, who, if it weren't for my family, would have our daughter, myself and him living god knows where. Probably a shelter. We lost our home.
I eat one meal a day often; keep this from my daughter as best as I can; inwardly seethe with anger at Sister Dear and Hubby Sweetness (NOT on both of those people!) and get up every day and Cope.
It's amazing how one does cope even when life is waaaaaay less worth living.
Sorry, I'm venting. Having a terrible day and it's only 8:23 am.
that allows family or friends to be paid for being a caregiver.
i guess I want to know what medicare pays for? Ours pays for BCBS long term care I think part "F" does anybody know anything about this?
Yes I feel as others are right when they state, "we have jumped the compass of morality right, to care for our elderly, but it us a job and they did pick us, if even by default, because we were always there. And about others being the gifted children, they are and we all know, that a certain unreality has set in there, similarly children fantasize about "the golden" runaway, unsupportive parent, as the one that truly loves them, but dementia doesn't look for the truth, it only looks looks for the ritual in thinking.
These "golden" children make life hell
for the one's left behind doing the caregiving
as if they are truly Gods, and because there is a "clause
of domesticity' (civil law, not criminal law?),
they yield their powers like a vendetta, unchecked and unscathed.
And even if their powers are stripped or they are incompetent, you will find that the court errs on the side (their side, golden children) of caution.
Yes there is a wide prejudice against family caregivers, they do give it no merit,
their already guilty minds could not handle anymore " " so if you give it no merit
then the caregiver isn't really doing anything, a vicious cycle of ABUSE.
Anybody ever see those wheels of power and abuse? Well there is one also for "Abuse in Later Life Wheel" transfer, taking your children away from you and substitute putting in your elderly person in a nursing home, and the rest of the wheel applies, to caregivers, except they say, you chose it and turn it all back onto YOU.
Family caregivers know they are doing "the right thing", but "the right thing" doesn't pay the food, utility bills, put money into your 401K, or pay off your student loans and the golden children stand smug, going ha!ha!
There is a relationship between my friend and I
but I am not his wife and the 86 year old is not my MI,
however the rest all applies and "no one ever asked you, all we asked you was to give her, her medication, you obviously have taken over without out permission"
a convenient misinterpretation on their part (the golden children) because there is a weight consideration and aside effect(diarrhea) for Exelon, so monitoring food intake was tacked on, and then there was the adjustment of BP medicine from 30 to 60 mgs. that required daily readings of BP before making the switch to 60mgs permanently and the list goes on. I feel they (the golden children) are responsible and benefited, by having me be the informal caregiver, so why not pay me???, there mother is doing well considering...
I am going to fight this (getting paid for caregiving and the unwritten laws of golden children) with all I have got, I hope to set a presidence, there is no excuse why this (caregiving without pay) should be allowed or tolerated, at our own expense.
like caregiving isn't enough of a strain, I hope it didn't mean that a guardian at litem was appointed, you are right when you say, that it shouldn't have come to this, but the laws allow this...to continue to happen, their motive GREED.
Same thing happened with me in court this morning. No more control to unreasonable sibling POA. HOORAY! But, it never should have come to this.
somehow it only cost institutions $6,000.00,
to look after parents.
If you tell me, it is that THEY that use our emotions against us,
because it is emotional, it must not be worth anything and
of course while we are caregiving we are saving the states X number of dollars,
reminds me of the time they calculated, if husbands had to pay for what their wives do as mothers for free, they would be paid 30,000 a year, instead of the Zip.
In caring for the elderly, it is a shame that we are not compensated,
should be for it is a job just like any other and unlike any other...
time demanding as well as financially draining...
Should be that the caregiver get half of what sibs think is being divided in the many ways and the other half should be divided in all the ways.
The caregiver actually should be entitled to the inheritance just as a living spouse would be, because the caregiver is actually taking the place of the spouse.
Idealistic life (society) has not caught up with, what the reality of caregiving is.
Also took out student loans to pay for 86 year old's food and medicine,
hoping for a little reprieve, only to be reported falsely to senior abuse...then how come she is still with me? and they have lost all control???
Tell me more about the forgiveness if not working. In my case I have taken deferments so I do not need to make a payment for 6 months. This can be done a maximum of six times, I'm on the third.
there should be loan forgiveness for unpaid caregivers, not simply unemployed would qualify for forgiveness. That would be too tempting cor many people to stay unemployed and play, while asking for loan forgiveness.
Little Known Veteran Benefit Provides Tax-Free Pension
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has a little known tax free pension available to help qualified veterans, spouses and their surviving spouses pay for assisted living, home health care or nursing home care. The Non-Service Connected Disability Pension was established in 1952 under Title 38. For veterans or spouses of veterans this pension can be a life line to allow them to age with dignity and peace of mind all the while affording them to receive the care they need and deserve.
A component of this Non-Service Connected Disability Pension is termed "Aid & Attendance". The Aid & Attendance benefit provides for reimbursement of certain qualified, un-reimbursed medical expenses, usually involving long-term care in assisted living communities, in-home care, and in very limited instances independent living communities.
This benefit is currently funded at over $4.3 billion annually.
Aid & Attendance Awards
For 2013, the maximum Aid & Attendance benefit amounts are:
Two Veteran Spouses (Only if both require benefit) $ 2,748 per month
Married Veteran $ 2,054 per month
Single Veteran $ 1,732 per month
Surviving Spouse $ 1,113 per month
These amounts are the maximum awards.
A veteran who is currently receiving Service Connected Disability compensation can still receive the Non-Service Connected Disability Pension with Aid & Attendance as long as the Disability Compensation is less than the Aid & Attendance Benefit. If eligible, the VA will grant the difference up to the maximum allowable under Aid & Attendance. However, if the Disability Compensation is greater than what the applicant is entitled to receive under Aid & Attendance then no more money is available.
Aid & Attendance benefits are paid directly to the applicant by the United States Treasury. Title 38 is a mandated law and must be funded by Congress every year. The benefit typically increases annually based on the Cost of Living Adjustment Index.
What Are The Qualifications for Aid & Attendance Pension Benefits?
In order to be considered, the applicant must be 65 or older/or unemployable.There are four criteria for qualifying for the Aid & Attendance benefit. All of these qualifications must be met to receive the Aid & Attendance benefit:
Criteria One: Military Service
This benefit is only available to veterans or their surviving spouses who meet the following military service history:
An Honorable Discharge from a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces (including Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, WACS, WAVES, WAFS)
At least 90 days of active duty military service
At least 1 day of the 90 must have been during one of the following periods:
World War I 04/16/1917 - 11/11/1918
World War II 12/07/1941 - 12/31/1946
Korea 06/27/1950 - 01/31/1955
Vietnam* 08/05/1964 - 05/07/1975
Persian Gulf War 08/02/1990 - TBD
* For those veterans who served "in country" in Vietnam, the beginning date for qualifying service is 2/28/1961.
Criteria Two: Medical Necessity
Medical Necessity means that the applicant has a medical diagnosis that is creating significant deficits in their ability to perform the Activities of Daily Living (ADL's) which include: bathing, dressing, eating, toileting and getting out of bed or chair.
Criteria Three: Care Cost Compared to Monthly Income
Monthly Income is defined as money that is available to the applicant on a regular monthly basis. If the applicant is married, both incomes must be disclosed. Cost of Care is the cost of qualified monthly medical expenses.
Once the monthly Income and Cost of Care are determined, the Cost of Care should exceed the Monthly Income to receive the maximum benefit.
Many people believe their income is too great to qualify when often that is not the case.
Criteria Four: Liquid Assets
Liquid assets are defined as financial instruments that can easily be converted to cash. Examples of liquid assets may include accounts such as Checking, Saving, IRA's/401k's, CD's, Mutual Funds, Stocks & Bonds etc.
Homes, real property and some items of personal property are considered Fixed Assets and might not be used in this calculation.
How Much Can You Have In Liquid Assets?
Unfortunately, there is no "right" answer. The VA seems to be getting more conservative in its allowance for liquid assets since the passage of the Deficit Reduction Act. Traditionally the VA takes into consideration three items when calculating acceptable amounts of liquid assets:
The total amount of assets
The rate of depletion (how much must be taken out of assets to make up the monthly difference in cost of care)
Longevity based on VA actuarial tables
Many people believe they have too great an asset base to qualify when often that is not the case.
This article is provided Courtesy of US Senior Vets with permission to use only at Agingcare.com. US Senior Vets is a national 501(C)3 non-profit organization dedicated to assisting our nations senior veterans and their surviving spouses. US Senior Vets is not a government agency or part of the department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
My only wish: not to live as long as my parents, who are not well, but are looked after, taken care of and will not know poverty. I will, however, and it chills me.
Yes. I am feeling sorry for myself. I am also scared witless whenever I look into the next 5-10 years.