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Dad is 84 and in poor health. He's currently living with my brother and sis-in-law (SIL) and has been there nearly 6 months now. Needless to say, he's changed their lifestyle. He's often unsteady on his feet, has "accidents" often, and needs to be watched/looked after whenever he's awake. My SIL, fortunately, doesn't work outside the home and is available to keep an eye on him all the time and she's doing a wonderful job. However, his care is taking it's toll... my brother says my SIL falls into bed each night totally drained of energy. Neither he nor her are getting a full night's sleep, as he's often up during the night to "fix" himself something to eat and one of them needs to get up and watch to make sure he's safe. Half the time, at these times, he's confused and doesn't even know where he is or what's he's doing. He cooks food in the microwave for 5.00 minutes rather then 50 seconds, turns on the water and leaves it running, etc.. I think you all know the situation I'm describing.

I've been talking to him over the last few weeks about his need to compensate my brother and SIL beyond just paying his living expenses (share of the groceries and utilities). I've proposed he pay 1,500.00 to them, above and beyond those costs.

He's got the money to do it and he's agreed with me that they are going far above and beyond as far as their care of him is concerned...but it's been three weeks and he's not paid a thing yet. My last conversation with him ended with his saying that he wants me to "put it in writing" what I want him to pay and why he should pay it.

So I need some help...I've researched the cost of in-home care in his state, but I need to write more then just that...it's the why he should pay them question that I'm not sure how to put in writing. I don't want dad thinking that my bro and sil are caring for him only for the money... I'm the one who brought up the whole thing in the first place. Both my older brother and I (who live in a different state from caregiving brother and SIL) are on board with this... I'm POA for dad though, and that's why I'm the one ram rodding this.....he does tend to listen to me on matters of finance, although he is his own Trustee with me as co trustee.

Anyone have any suggestions as to what I can say that would convince Dad that paying them is the right thing to do?

Thanks for any helps in advance and happy caregiving everyeone!

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Ba8alou...how can we forget Pat Paulsen! LOL!
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DebraLee... what a very nice thing to say. Thank You ;-)

I have to admit, reading so many of the discussions here at aging care have helped to guide me in this as much as anything else. I love that the advice in here helps me to look like I know what I'm doing when I'm really just learning from those who've been through it all before me. It's not only in my dad's best interest to see to it that my brother and sister in law are well taken care of, but also will help give peace of mind to both myself and my older brother who are far away and can only offer advice. It's simply a win/win situation for all of us.

I also owe much to my mother who talked my dad into choosing me as the POA. She was the family peacemaker, always solving disagreements in such a way that everyone was happy, not afraid to seek out books by experts for answers from those who had been in similar situations and I followed in her footsteps (using Google now, rather then the library though). She knew I'd be the one to reach out, seeking knowledge and advice to help make decisions in situations I knew little about. I think she also suspected dad would see her in me and be more inclined to listen to me then to my brothers. She died 6 years ago from Cancer...she went quick, but was bright enough to take care of business before she went. I do miss her so much...she was a brilliant woman.
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Dustien, as a POA and not a 24/7 caregiver, I applaud you for your compassion and common sense approach to your brother and sister-in-law as your father's caregivers. You are truely a unique individual with a great sense of empathy. If only their were more like you in this crazy world of caregiving!
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Don't forget Pat Paulsen!
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Garden Artist....I think the other popular write in character was Alfred E. Neuman and he was indeed the Mad magazine character. My husband would vote for him to this day... LOL!
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Captain, I certainly won't disagree about the influence of money men in shaping elections. The amount of money that flows behind the scenes, as well as the special interests that manipulate it are almost unfathomable.

In 2012 some organization mounted local attorneys as candidates for judgeships. The flyers sent out were so amateurish - a man and female standing back to back grinning, like two little kids who just finished playing on one of those little merry-go-round things. Not something you'd expect of a judicial candidate.

The whole approach was so amateurish, but the interesting aspect was that I couldn't figure out who their backers were. The candidates themselvs had little public presence. I traced the backers to some unknown outfit in Virginia (more beltway bandits?) and that's as far as I could get.

I found it interesting that our local circuit court elections were targets for some unidentified interests.

Now it's legalization of marijuana. Several cities in this state have been targeted by a man apparently with enough money to make this his calling. Too bad he doesn't donate it to a worthy charity organization instead.

Your comment on GWB gave me my laugh for the day. Do you remember when folks used to protest the choice of candidates by writing in "Donald Duck" or some other cartoon character? There was another one too - can't remember the name (on the tip of my tongue) but it was a comic character, from MAD magazine I think.
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gardenartist,
dont generalize too much about male attitudes . we'dda had a woman as our last president if id had my way . i voted for hillary in the primaries but our elections are a farce . somehow the press and the money men install who they want . aint no dam black man won no dam presidency in this dam redneck country . im tickled to death with the guy buy he did not win the vote in the usa , electoral or otherwise .. its a procession of political correctness . remember gwb ? yup , we even had to have an intellectually challenged ( retarded ) president to keep the procession looking fair . next itll be some gimped out sob in a hoverround , then probably hillary
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Amazing, Thanks for your thoughts.. It might come to that in the future, but for now my brother and sister in law both would not even consider it. The time might come when, as POA, I might have to press the issue of AL or NH care, but it's not here yet. As long as they are willing and able to care for Dad, and his health is relatively stable, and they, who are on the front line, feel it's the best option for dad right now, then I'm all for what they are doing. I just expect Dad to pay them for being on the front lines.
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I think your dad needs to be in an assisted living facility. It's too much for your SIL regardless of the money. If he can pay them he can pay for one, He may find he really likes it. Don;t wear that poor woman out.
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Garden Artist, you had some great thoughts to, and I'm forever greatful to you, and everyone else in here who offered help. What a brilliant group of folks are hanging about in here. And a big thank you to the group who created this whole site, agingcare.com! Kuddo's to them and I hope it' a huge success for all involved so they will be able to financially care for their elderly parents in comfort, if and when the time comes. At least they know where to go for great advice... ;-)
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These last few posts remind me that sometime ago I offered to find sample contracts. It's a good thing I didn't. Jeanne and Maggie offered solutions that are much more personal and to the point that I could have found or created.

I'm really glad this has worked out so well.
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Well, Dustien, you sure did make my day. Thank you for all the kind words. I hope it works. I'm thinking it will. ;)
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Ok..got ahold of brother, told the to tear up the letter I sent them to proof and I'm rewriting it! THIS FORUM IS AWESOME! Maggie, you should be a speech writer...or at the very least you should take that letter you just wrote and post it on every senior forum, including this one, in a thread of it's own. It's an excellent letter for anyone trying to get a parent to help pay their way. I will be forever grateful that you posted such thoughtful prose, as will, I'm sure, my brother and SIL. It's definitely going to make my dad think he raised a genius! I will be using it, modifying it a bit with some of the other thoughts that have been shared here, and I've no doubt it will put dad over the top. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!
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Jeannie and Maggie...wow...you both have some very good point. I've already emailed the letter to my brother, but If he's not given it to Dad yet, I think I'll tell him to hold off on that one and rewrite it using some of those points. Thanks again, so much!
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Good going!
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You say this: "The last thing we want him to do is resent my brother and sil because he's having to "pay" them to take care of him, care which he, of course, doesn't think he needs...he says they go overboard when they don't need to."

Well, that's not QUITE the last thing you'd want. The LAST thing you'd want is for your brother and sil to think they're being taken advantage of by someone who doesn't appreciate what they're doing for him.

IMO, if you list a whole bunch of things they do for him, you've given him arguing points that he can refute. "They cook for you" becomes his focus...."They hardly EVER cook for me! I cook for myself." In one way or another, you make his argument for him. Point after point, you've given him things he can refute taking his focus off "the big picture". So, I'd suggest something like this:

The reason you should be paying your way, dad, is because everyone pays their way. In an assisted living facility, you might be paying $1500 a month or more--if you even QUALIFY for assisted living. If you need full-blown nursing home care, that figure could be $5,000 or much more.

If you live anywhere other than with _____ and _____, your needs will be secondary to the expediency of staff. Nowhere on EARTH would you get the loving attention that you get here with ______.

_____ and _____ have given up their privacy and peaceful life to give you the greatest gift of all. A circle of love that cares for you and keeps you safe. You're so loved here.

What were you doing at their age, Dad? Were you caring for an elderly parent, helping them keep their independence? Were you sleeping with one ear open so you could hear their footfalls in the middle of the night and get up to make sure they were safe? Were you helping someone to the bathroom five times a day? Fixing their medicines? Taking them to the doctor? [List a bunch of stuff here.]

We both know you weren't. _____ and _____ are giving you a precious gift. Honestly? Money can't even buy that gift. But giving them $1,500 a month [or whatever] shows them that you value everything they're doing for you. It pays them back in a small way for the sacrifices they're making every single day to care for you. It's the very least you can do.

You [and mom] saved all of your lives for a rainy day. It's pouring outside now, dad. Time to help the very people who are holding your umbrella.

It is my sincere wish that you agree to help out _____ and _____ by paying $1,500 a month toward your care. It's the right thing to do. [If you pay his bills for him, continue with this....] Starting August 1st, with your permission, I'm going to start showing them how much we appreciate all they do for you.

I love you dad. We ALL love you. I'm so happy for you that _____ is in your life at this time. You raised a wonderful son. And daughter, of course. ;)

Love,

Dustien
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Dad, I know you've always been one to pay your own way. You've never asked for handouts and we are proud of what you've achieved through hard work. Now someone is working very hard for you. We all love you and want the best for you, but Nelly is the one who is there and spending her time providing for your needs. We are glad she is, and we want to make sure she is compensated for her efforts. Paying for what you receive is consistent with how you've lived your life and the example you've set for us.

Good luck, Dustien!
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Yahoo! When I last talked to dad, I told him I'd put it all in writing but it would be wonderful if, next time he went to the bank, he could take out some extra money and give it to my SIL until we get this all settled. Well, she called tonight and told me thanks for everything, that dad just gave her a nice bit of cash. That's a GIANT leap forward. GardenAngel...I think you were right when you said it sound like maybe he's coming around.

The letter's been written and emailed to brother. I asked him and SIL to proof it and let me know if they thought I should add anything, but I really think this is just a formality at this point now. I think dad realizes he should be helping out and that the letter is going to set his mind at ease that the amount mentioned isn't at all out of line, that, in fact, it's a really good deal for him!

You guys have all been great! I'm going through right now and LIKING all your posts!
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Best of luck, Dustien. Hope it works out!
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Thanks guys for your posts.

Ba8alou...SIL is 54... My niece, who lives close and is a stay at home mom, will be paid a portion of the 1500.00/mo to be up at night with him, at least while her husband's not working and can take care of their children (he's on unemployment because of a layoff)...she's a night owl anyway and has already volunteered to help.

assanache7 - Dad won't sign a contract without first having all his questions answered. If I could sit down with him and go over everything and then have him sign a contract I'd give that a try, but I'm in another state and have no time to get together with him for at least a month. So the letter it will have to be.

Ba8alou...we all made a pact with mom before she died to take care of dad and to do all that we can to keep dad out of a nursing home. My brother in law and SIL will exhaust themselves to the point of no return before they would ever consider it, and I'm right there behind them. Dad's always been a wonderful kind man and we all agree, even with his stubborn frame of mind now, we couldn't have asked for a better dad. He's always been there for us and we need to be there for him now. He would have to be really bad off and impossible for any of us to care for before we'd let him go into a facility.

We just need to convenience him to pay SIL and brother for their care of him. If he doesn't then I'm going to try convincing SIL that she needs to find a part time job (even if it's McDonalds) and then hire someone to come in and care for dad while she's at work. Bet it won't take long for him to figure out that he needs to pay her for his care instead of her working to contribute to the household budget while he pays a complete stranger to care for him (one who won't take him to the casino).

Thanks again...this forum and you guys are the BEST!
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Dustien; I have to say that re-reading your posts, it doesn't sound to me like this "in-house" arrangement is going to last very long. It frankly sounds like your dad needs a higher level of care (either several shifts of in-home care both for safety and sleep reasons) or a facility in which he has full time supervision. Perhaps starting with bringing someone in for the overnight shift, in addition to some housekeeping during the day to help with laundry and general housecleaning might provide the break your SIL so richly needs and deserves. And perhaps if Dad sees that it's someone else doing the work, he'll better understand why his needs to pay the bill.

How old is your SIL? Not getting sleep is a silent killer.
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I would skip the letter to Dad.. Just write up the contract which specifies serves needed and given.. The contract will answer all his questions.. Then have it signed and notarized..

IMO he's just trying to delay forking over the dough..

Ask him if he wants to continue living with your brother or move to NH...

End of story..
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Ba8alou...15,000.00/mo???? That's crazy...who can afford that. I'll bet that's not what Medicare pays. It's probably like hospital bill... 45,000.00....actual payment by medicare insurance...12,000.00. That was my dad's three days in the hospital with pneumonia. Dad's in Texas... looks like average NH care is around 6,000.00. Connecticut folks need to move to Texas! LOL!
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Linda, SIL hasn't work outside the home since her last child was born 21 years ago, and dad knows that she had no plans to do so. She's just always been a home maker. Otherwise, that would be a good argument...thanks! ;-)
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Garden Artist...the samples of an agreement between my dad and Brother and Sis In Law would be wonderful if you could point me toward them. Thanks!
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If your SIL did work outside the home, what did she/could she earn? There's the opportunity cost of her staying home to care for him, as opposed to income plus SS for the future.
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Don't know where you are geographically, but in suburban Connecticut, NH is $15,000 a month, with a roomate. AL is like $6,000, with minimal care. Medication management, etc, is more.
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Garden Artist, thank you for some really good thoughts on this issue, as well as the rest of you. Yes, this is regarding my dad who gambles as much away as he should be paying my brother and SIL. I thought we had an understanding, but nothing's been done on his part yet so I called him and that's when he hit me up with the put what I'm asking of him in writing as well as the reasons as to why. I tried writing a letter this morning, but wasn't getting anywhere so came here to ask to see if maybe some of your idea will help me in putting it down in writing, and that's exactly what it did! I'll be referring to this thread as I write that letter. I'll be writing it tomorrow, when I'm fresh. Thanks all for your great advice!
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When you finally get him to sign the agreement make sure it's retroactive!
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Find out what in-home caregivers (24/7) cost in your area. And what AL costs.
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