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I'm in the process of becoming a primary caregiver for my 67yo father who had a stroke 3 years ago. His right side is completely paralyzed, his speech is nonexistent & he's completely incontinent; however he's still aware of his surroundings and can express his displeasure or his joy.
Here's where it gets a little hairy: we have not spoken in over 10 years and i'very been here 3 weeks. Also, he had the stroke in asia where the details are more on the cloudy side. Apparently his health has declined since coming back to the states five months ago. He sleeps most of the day & is only awake about 45 minutes three times a day to eat. He will only eat hamburger & sausage patties.
He has a POA that I trust who has been taking care of him night and day since she brought him home, but obviously needs help as she has her own family and full time job. I'm here at his home now taking on 24 hour care. I'm considering asking if he'd like to come to my home where it's more spacious & frankly not as depressing for me for the winter, giving my dad the option of coming back to his home, giving his current caregiver a break as I can tell she's completely burned out. I haven't run this by her yet as I'd like any thoughts or opinions on this first... some help please?

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You all have given me a lot of wonderful points to meditate on~ much gratitude. I still have a lot to actually work out, but i have decided that taking him to my home is not an option~ there's a reason i am not his poa and I'm definitely okay with that. I had accepted a long time ago that i would never know what happened to my father, so this experience will be closure to many childhood issues. I like the idea of visiting every few months for a week or two after this winter...

Every one has been so helpful and I'm so grateful. Please keep any advice or thoughts coming because this site has been the best therapy for studying the experiences of others who were in my shoes.
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If you feel guilty now imagine the guilt you will put on yourself in two months should you decide it is not working for you. Consider coming to town every so often and giving the other person a break.
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Kymimi, in your situation (strained relationship with father) I think the appropriate role for you (assuming you want a role at all) is to be his advocate for good care. It is NOT to provide that care yourself.

Read up on Medicaid. Even if it looks like your father has too much monthly income to qualify it is entirely possible to work around that. Find an attorney (in his county) that specializes in Elder Law and get a consultation regarding how to apply and what to expect from Medicaid. (This should be paid for with Dad's funds.)

If you want to do the right thing, be his advocate -- don't abandon him. If you are trying to prove that you are worthy of his love or trying to earn a relationship you wished you'd had earlier, that effort is pretty much doomed.
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Unfortunately not a vet, but thank you nature73
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If he is a vet, he may qualify for Aid & Attendance -a great resource.
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Thanks so much for the support & thoughts ~ @Churchmouse: simply put & simply correct. I've already agreed to be here for the next few weeks so i'm okay with that and will do what i can then go back to my life...~@CarlaCB: i appreciate the jumping board for some info. I would like to help as much as i can while i'm here as his poa's English is not her first language.
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For Medicaid, you have to start with the state of your father's residence. Look up his state department of aging or whatever the agency is called in his state. Do a few google searches - you should come up with it fairly easily. Good luck!
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The person who has power of attorney and retrieved him five months ago... What's her Plan B, apart from dumping daddy on your hands?

I think it's great for the POA to get a brief respite. I think it's great for your Dad to be forgiven, and I think it's good karma for you to forgive him. All of that should take no more than another week.

Responsibility for your father's care plan rests with his POA. Not with you. Don't do it.
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I was told that he got his pension & thats all we have to work with as he has a mortgage & no savings left.
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Medicaid pays for nursing homes?! I guess i need to find out what help i can get him. Yes, he is a citizen and he worked for Amtrack for over 30 years... does anyone know how i get information on what he might qualify for?
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Is he not an American citizen, could he not apply for medicaid to pay for a nursing home?
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Thank you pamstegma. I'm having trouble with just leaving and i don't even know why. I don't know why i feel the need to take care of him. It's really twisting my noodle.
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Tell the POA you are going back home in 30 days, and go. It is up to the POA to see that he either has home care or a facility. Do NOT take him with you.
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Thanks for the responses everyone... to answer a few questions: I'm 40 and i live with my boyfriend and our dog. Ironically i worked in geriatrics in my twenties as a 24 hour caregiver to a partially paralyzed stroke patient so i do understand what im getting into; however its not something i want to particularly do again. @Windyridge: i also question why I'm so willing to sacrifice for a man i feel turned his back on me on numerous occasions. Other than it's the right thing to do... i can't really tell you why. It's a big issue I'm struggling with. He has a decent pension from the railroad but not enough for a nursing home. Fortunately even though he sleeps so much his caregiver has taken pretty good care of him & he has no pressure sores though he bruises easily. At this point I believe the road to recovery has passed as I'm told his health has declined since he's been back; apparentlyrics he was able to walk with a walker just 5 months ago and now he can't pull himself up from bed.
I'm still in a state of shock and life is completely surreal~ I don't know where to start to even look for help.
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I agree that he needs care in a facility. There he will get better nutrition, there is some possibility of physical therapy and there will be many shifts of workers to keep him comfortable. If he is paralyzed and sleeping over 20 hours a day he is at great risk of developing pressure sores, I wouldn't be surprised if he has some already. Given the amount of time that has passed since the stroke there may no longer be any possibility of improvement, but if it is possible then skilled care is where it will happen. Of course nothing you try to do to help matters if the POA is not willing to accept help... what do they want?
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How old are you? Job, kids? This would be a full time job and not a pleasant one at that. Give this lots of thought before making this move. That you haven't spoken to him in 10 years makes me wonder why you are now so committed to sacrificing you life for his care.
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All I can tell you is: don't do it. A bed-ridden, incontinent stroke patient needs far more care than a lone caregiver can provide. It sounds like his current caregiver is not a paid caregiver, but a volunteer or family member. That means to me that there isn't money for paid caregivers. That is a huge problem in the case of someone who requires 24/7 care. One person can't provide that. You need to start looking at whatever programs may be available to him such as Medicaid, VA benefit, etc. Don't make the mistake of thinking you can do this on your own indefinitely or for any meaningful length of time.
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I would be overwhelmed at the thought of caring for someone who's partially paralyzed. I complement you on your willingness to do so, but put yourself in the place of the current caregiver who's already burned out.

You might want to spend some time with her and ask her to tell you everything she does. Prepared with that list, ask yourself how you'll handle each task. Who will you hire to help you? What will you do when you too burn out?

I'm not one to recommend facilities, but I think with partial paralysis, your father could get more physical support and care than one person could provide at home. If you do bring him to your home, line up the home care first b/c otherwise you'll just be overwhelmed.
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