Advice on housing options for broke, dysfunctional parents.

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Does anyone have suggestions where I can start researching housing options for parents who are broke and struggling? They have pawned moms jewelry and gone without to stay in their home. It's a constant financial drain and source of worry to me. I bring groceries, drive 2 1/2 hours each way to check on them, and pay for insurance and phone. I just want them to be more self sufficient and to be able to stop worrying about them. Two of three brothers have done a disappearing act. I have anger because my parents never plan; I try to help them. I did all their social security and my dads VA paperwork and got my mother supplementary medical insurance and got my dad to go to the VA for cancer treatment. There is a dysfunctional family history and I am trying to do the right thing and help although I was always on my own.
What I need help with is figuring out how to locate the options they could have for finding some kind of retirement community although they have zero in savings. If they sell their home they could earn 50-60 K and have this in the bank. I think that staying at their house is isolating and they are under terrible stress handling expenses associated with homeownership - everything from house insurance to shingling the roof. My mother wants to move but my obstinate and narcissistic father changes the subject when I bring it up. Now my mother has pulmonary fibrosis. If one of them dies the other cant afford to keep the house. Currently they live on $2000 per month social security. I'm so angry about their denial and want them to sell. It would be great to know that they had enough to cover basic expenses. Any suggestions or similar stories would be greatly appreciated.

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You cannot force them to sell their home, but you don't have to financially enable their lifestyle. Help provide them information on housing options and inform them you will no longer provide financial assistance in maintaining their home. Hopefully this will provide them the incentive to start making better choices for their lives. Don't allow them to depend on you financially.
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Catjohn22, thanks for your suggestion to document everything, and for your support with knowing that I do as a person have to do what I can to help them. I will try to be a strong advocate for them. Pag237, thanks for this link. I wrote down a bunch of leads for my parents. Hopefully they will be able to investigate some of these leads and find some that would be clean and pleasant. I may be able to help them look at the first few. My mother said to me that it was so hard for them to think ahead because so much has happened to them. Emjo, thanks for writing about your situation with your mother. It sounds like you have a lot to deal with there. These cultural expectations are quite real. My mothers family has the cultural tradition of one adult offspring moving in with the parents and helping them. If it was just my mother I would do it but my father is just too challenging. Julieann1995 thanks for the suggestion of meals on wheels. I do have that already coming. Social workers from the area agency on aging are coming on Friday. Jaye, thanks for the suggestion of VA housing. I already did the paperwork for the VA medical, but I need to figure out how to get into the VA pipeline for other services such as financial aid and housing. Jennhchapman I did look at the aid and attendance online site. I will try and pursue this although at first, it appears that they are just over the income limits. Suzmarie, i totally relate to what you are saying about your parents working hard all their lives and retirement reflecting this lower income bracket. It's so sad to hear that your mothers retirement ss is so low. My dad with the roof is a subject of daily consternation for me. Now that he is taking care of my mother, if he falls and gets injured the stakes are even higher. He will not listen to reason on this. Let him do the stupid roof and then it will be finished. A key area where boundaries are needed on my part.
Thanks all for your support and helpful suggestions.
Best wishes to you all, rose
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First, if your mom has problem interrupting ss and other mail have the mail forwarded to you; i supplied the postal service with a card of a change of address. then you won't have to go 2 1/2 hours only to find all this paper work. My mom was very easy but my theory is just do it and deal with thier anger and emotions later; that is what is meant by looking after our parents.

i also thought at one time that my parents just didn't plan for their future well and some of that is true. when my nephews were born (my parents only grandchildren) my parents wasted alot of money buying clothes treats and more treats for the boys. even a w/d for my sister omg. on the other hand, both of my parents worked very hard all their lives; most of their money in their working years went to support the household and us two girls. we didn't take an extravagant vactions; no excess jewelry or new cars. They just didn't make enough to survive and save huge amounts. I can relate. My dad got a retirement but my mom as a waitress gets 42 dollars for retirement...common folks who can retire on that?

i support checking into the senior housing option; if the government steps in and

provides any services they mmight want the 50 or 60k that would be had if the house is sold. based on today's market let's see if you can even get that much so dont spend that money without advice from an attorney. safety wise youmight have to force a move; your father at his age, and for any age for that matter, shosuld not be on the roof. my neighbor was probaboy in his 50's got on someones roof, fell off and needed brain surgery. he is ok now. leave the roof to the professionals.

keep searching for all the options section 8, hud, senior apartments. retirement community is too expensive 50 or 60 k will be gone in a flash.
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speak to the VA regarding Aide & Attendance, a benefit program to help veterans with living, medical and home care services if needed. You should also ask about VA assisted living.
Gather all medical receipts (even if it is for aspirin) as this will help them meet the financial requirements.
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Check with the VA they can help you with housing. We were contemplating having my parents go to the Assisted Living in our community. My Dad was a WWII combat veteran. He becamed very ill very fast and so we did not move them. I have however since his death moved my Mom into independant senior housing and she is much happier and not as lonely. I would look for something that offers them some care and regular meals such as assisted living. I would encourage your Dad to do this for your Mom, because it will make things eaisier for her. take care and know you have lots of people to help just hop on line and we can visit. J
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There should also be a agency on aging in your area. Huge rescourse there, also because your dad is Vet, there may be extra money through the VA. Dont forget things like meals on wheels, that would give them a hot meal 5 days a week and also provide an extra set of eyes. I live in Maine, and we have a 211 number that you can call for rescourses. They have phone numbers for everything .
You are doing a wonderful job, Good Luck!
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oops - sorry, the cat is interfering with my mouse - literally!
... the realities of their situation and deal with them. I am sure you will find out that they do have options that acceptable in terms of adequate housing, and care, even if dad doesn't like them. I have a narcissistic mother who doesn't like the choices that there are either, (thought they are fine for most people), and I have had to back off from giving direct assistance, as her demands became unreasonable to the point of affecting my health. Largely, I leave her to the professionals. I do keep an eye on her from a distance, and check on her, as well as maintaining regular, though not frequent contact. Backing off is not easy, I know. She is European, too, and has the expectation that it is my job to look after her, despite the fact that I have health issues of my own, which are exacerbated by the stress of her demands. However, having compared her with her late siblings, who were not demanding at all, I have concluded that it is the narcissism more that her heritage that is the problem. She pushes continually to have me more involved, and even contributing to her finances, although they are more than adequate for her needs. Please don't drain your own resources in order to support your narcissistic dad's choices. You need your own resources for yourself - financial, physical, emotional etc. A narcissist brings up their children to be codependent, in order to meet his/her unhealthy needs. I am so glad that you are seeing a therapist who is encouraging you in healthier directions. Believe me the sky will not fall when you say "No" to dad, though it feels scary when you first do. Draw the boundaries that are good for you, and stick to them. A simple "I can no longer support you..." (and be specific how - paying insurance, buying groceries etc,) is enough, with NO need to justify or explain yourself. Simply, you cannot do this anymore. Be prepared that he will react negatively, and, ahead of time, deal with any guilt that you may feel. It is what I call "false" guilt - not founded on any rational basis. You are a good daughter, who loves her parents, and is doing her very best for them, to the point of being taken advantage of. That is not good for you, or for them. I cringe every time I read about an offspring financially assisting parents with the resources yours have. I feel it is abusive.
Good luck with this. Come back and let us know how it goes. I suspect you may need support to maintain your new boundaries firmly, and you will get that here.

Love and ((((((((hugs)))))))
Joan
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(((((((rose))))) sounds to me like you are on the right track with your therapist and the professionals coming in to advise about your parents. I totally agree about backing off and lettng mum and dad experience the resalities of his situagyion.
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Go to Hud.org, check for Section 8, and enter State and Cities you want to check for subsidized housing. Most are marked "Senior" or Disabled or Families, so you will know to just check out the "Senior" apartments. Hope this helps.
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Roseisabelle,

You have obviously been able to maintain your sense of humor throughtout this, which is wonderful. Your comparison with Archie Bunker's hosuehold updated to your situation, is amusing. It sounds as though you are taking needed steps and have been thinking about various scenarios for a while now. Your empathy and compassion for your parents's situation is admirable. You may be furstrated, sad, irritated, during all this, but I don't think, when you look back, that you will regret doing everything you could to help them, especially for your mother's sake. Fathers can be much more complex, mixing in the disappointment of not being able to provide adequately, loss of his business, all the things that come with aging plus the economic downturn. It is a sad situation for all, but one that they can come through relatively well with the proper help and support, I agree that they need one-on-one assistance to navigate the sytems for housing, medical care, etc., especially if there is a lack of literacy or computer literacy. The systems can be difficult to navigate even for those who are more familiar with them. Sometimes it seems as though they are designed to frustrate peopleso that they will fall by the wayside and just give up. It takes takes a strong advocate to come through this with the best possible outcome for everyone. You sound as though you are up to the task. One suggestion is that you always document every phone call or interaction you have with someone, including names and dates, which you are probably doing already. Reaching out simply to talk with others here was a healthy step.
I wish you all the best with this.
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