Where can I get advice or counseling on moving in with Dad?


My mother passed away a year ago and my father who has vision problems due to a stroke from 5 years ago is living alone in a 4000 sq foot farm house that sits on a 7 acre propery. He wants remain in his home which both my sister and I support. He also knows that he can't live indefinitely by himself and will need one of us to move in. She lives in an appartment in another state and I and my family live 20 minutes away and own our home. His home is the better option for us to move into as it is larger and more accomodatable. Is there any place that we can get advice and counceling on this? My sister is not in agreement of my fathers abilities and thinks he can live indefinitly by himself with the only assistance is from me instead of hiring help and refuses agreement for me and my family to move in. But she herself can not move in either.

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mjmwhattodo, everyone over the age of 18 needs to have a Power of Attorney, it is extremely important. Hopefully you and your husband, and your sister have one, plus a Will, Medical Directives, etc. or things can become very complex if there is a major medical issue.
Helpful Answer (1)

Mjm, print out Jeanne's answer and follow her directions.

You and your sister seem to be in disagreement about what dad's needs are.

You are uncertain about your ability to manage your current responsibility, much less a 4000 ft home and extensive property.

You are uncertain of what you and your sister's respective legal positions are vis a visit poa.

1. Get clarity on dad's needs.
2. Visit an eldercare attorney with dad and sister and sort out legal.

It sounds to me as though you are considering moving in because your sister thinks dad needs little to no help. That might be true right now, but his needs are only going to increase. And taking care of a house that size is not a one person job.

The other issue is that when we move into our parents' home, we become "kids" again. If we're not paying rent, we're " mooching" (even if we're caregiving 24/7). It always looks like mooching to our parents and to someone outside, like your sister.

It really sounds like for now, dad should hire some help, and think about downsizing in the near future.
Helpful Answer (3)

You've come to the right place for advice. You will need counseling if you decide to move your family in with your father and not make the proper arrangements first.

Taking on responsibility for your father without being primary POA is a bad idea.

You will need to consider making renovations to his home so that he can age in place. Ramps. Raised toilet seats. ADA-accessible bathrooms. Bedroom on ground floor so he does not need to go up and down stairs.

You also need to have your own living space where you have privacy and your children have their own bathroom. Ideally you will have your own kitchen or kitchenette.

Once you move in, you will be responsible for daily things like meals, housekeeping, and laundry. That's a lot of work and you will not be able to do it alone.

You should speak with your sister and come to a decision about what is best for your father. If she fights you every step of the way, your life will be miserable and you will need a lot more counseling.
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I am self employed working out of my home. I go out often for a few hours at a time to appointments. My kids are 14 and 8 years old and my husband is away from home working 99% of the year. So I am Essentially a single parent of sorts most of the time. With one of my children having high functioning special needs and has a few therapy and doctors appointments a week, every week, on going for who knows long. I am burning the candle at both ends with my own life's schedule without throwing my dad's life management into the mix. My sister is self employed as well but lives out of state and travels around the country 90% of the year.
My husband and I have no intention of remaining in my parents home after my father dies unless we purchase it, so we are planning to rent out our home while we live with him.
Again, he has a poa and advance directive but I am not sure what it says exactly as I will need to still find it. If one of us was choosen as a poa it was most likely my sister because she is the oldest.
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4000 square foot house and on seven acres. That is a lot to take care of.

Jeanne is right, do not wait to get planning documents in place. He could have a stroke tomorrow and there is nobody as POA would be a disaster and very hard to figure out what dad would want. It could even end up that the state would assign him a guardian on an emergency basis. I wouldn't want that for myself.
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I think the first resource you need is someone to do a needs assessment of your dad. His doctor could order this, or you could call his county's Human Services department and ask for one. This will help you determine objectively what will be needed caring for him. The person doing the assessment can probably also give you a list of resources for things that he needs.

Then you need to consult with an attorney who specializes in Elder Law. You will probably have to a larger town or city to find one. They can advise your dad about POA, Healthcare Directive (living will), and on updating his will and insurance beneficiaries, etc. This should all be done before the need arises. Dad doesn't need someone with Power of Attorney acting for him now, but you probably aren't going to get a 6 month notice before he does! (It is very bad news for two people to equally share a POA. The lawyer can tell you why.) These documents need to be done while Dad is still of sound mind and can understand them. So, the sooner the better.

Having a picture of dad's needs and his legal documents taken care of, it is time to decide how best to meet those needs. Maybe at least for a while he can do just fine with some outside help, for housekeeping, rides to the store, etc. Maybe he need more in-home care and someone should be with him a few hours a day. Maybe having you move in would be ideal. Just don't go into this thinking that is the only option that will work. Keep an open mind.

It would be terrific if you and Sis and Dad can sit down and have a series of meetings about how best to meet his needs right now and down the road. Having your sister onboard with the situation is highly desirable.

What are your sister's reasons for you not moving in? She may be way off track or perhaps she has some valid points. Listen carefully.

Could you explain this statement? "It's just the volume of the house Nd property that bothers me"?
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I know you love your dad and don't want him to be alone. That is a lot of property to manage. I would try and have a family meeting maybe including a social worker or attorney. I wonder if your sister is afraid that if your family moves in, that somehow, your family will inherit the entire property and she doesn't want that.

Its good of you to offer to live with your dad and that can work for some families. But if your dad's care escalates, it might be more challenging with a young family. There is a lot to consider. I didn't realize myself what it meant to be responsible for all my dad's care after his stroke. It was a lot to take on, I underestimate the anger and resentment I would feel after years of care.
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I dont think he needs a poa yet. He is doing quite well right now on his own. But he can not drive and he lives outside of town. He cant safely walk to the food store, pharmacy or anywhere like a town center. He has to rely on other people for transportationad there is no public transportation available were he lives. It's just the volume of the house Nd property that bothers me
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MJM - I would never underestimate care needed by a loved one.
Your sister greatly concerns me . Under the best of circumstances caretakers often find siblings difficult & sometimes impossible to handle . I can't imagine why she wouldn't agree to your family moving in . It's a big sacrifice and one that she apparently isn't willing to make . Could she be concerned about her inheritance or the possibility of you staying in the house after your dad passes?
I was in a similar situation as far as moving in with my parents. Be careful of doing too much for your dad.
Your dad's doctor could order an evaluation to determine the needs of your dad and safety issues in his home.
You didn't mention how many members there are in your family. Do you have an outside job?
I don't want to sound harsh; however, this an incredibly demanding job especially 24/7. From the beginning be sure to get hired help so you can have some scheduled time off.
Do you plan on selling your house? Does your immediate family plan on helping with your dad? I would highly recommend spending a few hours reading over the questions and articles in this website. Do a search for new caretaker on the internet. If your dad is of sound mind please get a medical power of attorney. If your sister's intentions are questionable, create a contract outlining your specific duties and payment if applicable. Of course you won't realize your responsibilities until you're there for a bit.
I don't know how old you are, but taking taxes out is a good idea, especially if you're insured through the healthcare marketplace.
If I could go back in time I would not hover over my parents. I would promote autonomy as much as possible. It's hard but it's the right thing to do. There are wonderful resources online for vision loss - assistive devices, support groups, updated medical treatment information.
I'm rambling in different directions! I really want you to be aware of other first time caregivers' experiences before you dive in the deep end. I thought my situation was so unique. It's exactly the same as everyone here.
Please let us know how you're progressing. Feel free to message me if I can answer any questions. There are many qualified and compassionate caregivers on this site.
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no neither of us have poa unless he is completely incompassatated...I think. I think we have equal poa or if not she is the executor of the will. she is the oldest. I know everything is equally divided between us if he does but I will have to look into the poa.
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