Any advice you have would be appreciated. 16 months ago, my Mom suffered a broken hip and a hernia at the same time. She was in & out of the hospital five times in October 2010. She has since had her hip replaced and her right shoulder partially replaced. Clearly, she has been in no shape whatsoever to do housework. I asked my Dad to help me with the housework. I was told, "Whatever your mother can do, let her do it." He did nothing but eat, sleep, and work his 30hr/wk part-time job (which was good for Mom & me because it got him out of the house). Things were tight with the bills so I started pitching in more money. In November, Dad wrecked the company van and his pickup truck both on the same night. :( He has not worked since. He went to the hospital for six days for pneumonia and was sent home (too early in Mom & my opinion). He was visiting my sister in Maine and had to go to the hospital. Up there, he was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. Mom has told me that he is critically ill. The doctor told me he is slipping. In the meantime, the household is slipping because he has not worked in two months. On Saturday, I have to go to Connecticut to pick him up (my sister is driving him down from Maine to pass him off to Mom & me and absolve herself of the responsibility claiming her job is in jeopardy). The money and caregiving situation is becoming a tremendous burden. The money problem is bigger than what I have the power to fix. I could really use some advice because I'm getting used up dealing with these issues.

Thank you for your advice,

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Put on your research hat and find out what financial aid programs your parents are eligible for. Would either or both of them qualify for Medicaid,for example? What programs does their county have in place to keep at-risk individuals in the community and out of nursing homes longer? How about meals on wheels or similar food programs?

Enlist the help of a social worker. Call their county agency on aging or talk to the social worker at the hospital. I don't know how I ever would have survived my first year of caregiving without the guidance of a case worker who knew the ins and outs of available programs.

Good luck!

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