Hello, I'd seen this forum in the past and it seems like there are some very nice and helpful people here, so I thought I'd ask if anyone had some tips or guidance for me. I'd appreciate any little bit of info to help, I'm kind of alone in this and am not sure what to do.

My father was diagnosed with Parkinson's about 3-4 years ago and got on disability. The first two years were pretty normal, just some minor tremors and stiff muscles, and the third year wasn't too bad, but I had to start doing more and more for him.
This last year has been very rough on me and him. I have been a full time caregiver for him for about a year now. I always have to be alert for when he needs help, am constantly woken up in the night for help, can barely leave the house since he needs help so often, and it's getting very hard to help him maneuver as he loses more and more of his ability to assist me in moving. (he's quite heavy. Was 250~ lbs, but I've managed to get him to 225 over time.)

I had recently been thinking about looking into housing or care for later on, but the last month has been so bad I need to figure something out quick. He has gotten much worse both physically and mentally that it kind of surprised me how quick it's happened.

His memory and speaking are getting worse, and he's had a few falls that weren't bad thankfully, but any of them easily could have been. I have a series of sheets and pads on his bed that catch about 4 accidents a day that I'm washing daily. I have to wash him, clothe him, feed him... almost everything. The constant, unending stress and very little sleep are starting to have serious effects on my mental and physical health, and I also am not able to give him the care he needs anymore. The house is not disabled friendly and it's very hard to help him on my own.

I will be calling some area agency on aging place I had heard about after this, so maybe they can help as well, but I'd appreciate any kind of advice if you have any.

Oh, and is there any way I could have been getting paid for this? I tried looking but it seemed like we didn't qualify for it... I have no money and am going to be in an awkward spot after I'm not taking care of him anymore since his disability was only just enough to pay for food and rent/utilities.

He's on disability, has Medicare, and we live in Michigan if any of that information helps.

You need to speak with an elder law attorney. Michigan has some very unusual laws when it comes to the elderly.I

Next fall, call 911 to have him taken to the ER. Then tell them you will not take him home as he needs more care than you can safely provide.

You may be eligible to remain in the home since you cared for him so long. Another reason to speak with an elder law attorney.
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to gladimhere
Harrylcnm Apr 29, 2023
It would not have occurred to me to leave him and tell the hospital that you’re just leaving, they need to “deal with it”. Wonder what would happen.
He will qualify for LTC Medicaid (nursing home Medicaid) if he medically needs it, and he will meet those medical requirements with PD if he hasn't already.

I was in the same position as you are in with my father. PD is a brutal disease, and it gets progressively worse. The quickest way to get help, and is what I did, is to call 911 and have him transported to the ER. Once he's in the hospital, you seek assistance from the SW to find placement for him and apply him for LTC Medicaid. You need to tell them he's no longer safe at home, and you are unable to take care of him. With me, it was easy because I had to work, and the SW know he wouldn't be safe alone anymore. You are going to have to stress to them that you are unable to safely care for him.

As far as getting paid if he stays home and you take care of him, It is doubtful, but I think there may be some movement towards that in the future. States are looking for more ways to keep seniors home and giving families support to do that. You'd have to ask your state's Medicaid office. But caring for someone with PD is eventually going to require 2 people for assisting with movements.
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Reply to mstrbill

I just want to say that I feel for you. I cared for my mom with Parkinson’s disease for many, many years. I know firsthand how difficult this is for you.

Parkinson’s disease affects everyone differently.

I hope that you are able to receive the help that you need for your dad. Wishing you peace as you continue on in your caregiving journey.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

Thank you all for the replies.

I will look into the MiChoice programs, elderly law attorney, and also call the area agency on aging in the morning since I wasn't able to today.

Just saw mstrbill's post about LTC Medicaid so I will look into that as well!

Thank you!
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Arthur26

Your father is 58 years old. The Agency on Aging are not the right people to talk to.
His doctors are though. They can help make the arrangements to get him placed if you can't care for him anymore.
Your town's hospital can help you to if you need to bring him to the ER if things get to be too much for you. Ask them for a 'Social Admit' because you cannot care for him anymore. They will admit him to the hospital and keep him there until they find a care facility appropriate for his needs.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to BurntCaregiver
Harrylcnm Apr 29, 2023
Is “Social Admit” common or standard? Sounds a bit like you’d just be leaving him and telling the hospital to “just deal with it”.
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My dad's Parkinson's also had what I think was pretty early onset--late 50's. It was improperly dxed for years b/c of that, and it was co-morbid with some other health issues that clouded the drs judgment.

By the time he was properly medicated and such---he did a lot better. He never 'tremored' until the very end, he was, however, bedbound, essentially, for the last couple of years.

We moved mom and dad into an apartment built onto YB's home. It was not ideal, but it gave mom a lot of help and breaks from the constancy of CG.

Had he been 'alone' he would have had to go into a facility. I'm so glad he never did. He was always sweet, patient and grateful for anything and everything done for him. This was a dignified, lovely gentleman and those traits continued.

He was also a big man--and so mom needed help at the end for turning and lifting, but we worked it out.

ONE CG for a Parkinson's patient as bad as your dad is will most assuredly burn you out in record time. Probably time to have him fully assessed and possibly placed.

Know this: His needs will become greater and greater over time. Your care time will be exponetially increased also.

Daddy lived to 76. The last 2 years were truly awful, the last 6 months? I never want to have to see that in my life.

You've been amazing. Give yourself credit for that. I know how hard this dynamic is.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Midkid58

MI has some good medicaid. Does your Dad have a caseworker? I think you need to start contact to see what inhome help you can get for him. One of our regulars on AC, Stacy122 is familiar with some of the help in MI due to caring for an elder for some time there. I hope she can guide you a little.

I myself wouldn't know where to start, and I do know all this would be easier with a hospital admission for some reason. This would enable you to call in THEIR social workers to help with discharge planning and placement care. I would contact APS in your area and tell them you cannot physically do this anymore, and where should you turn before taking Dad to an ER for admission because you cannot budge him.

Does your Dad understand at all that you can no longer care for him at home? Whether you can be paid or not it would not be a living salary and you are still left with a 250# man.

I am hoping you find some help here or a place to at least start. Will send Stacy a note re your post. Wish you good luck.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to AlvaDeer
Arthur26 Apr 24, 2023
Thank you for the reply.

He is okay mentally most days, but has bad days, which are becoming more frequent, where's he's easily confused.
He has trouble with words, but there is still normally coherent ideas behind them, I just have to work with him to find out what he's saying. He is also very bad with time and short term memory, but he does realize it's getting very hard for me, and has even said in some of his more recent bad moments to look for a place for him.

I'm trying to find his paperwork for social security/case worker, but he did all of that on his own before he got bad, and now isn't sure where it is.

What is calling APS like? I'm not sure if my care counts as neglect yet since only about 2 days of the week are where he's so bad it's almost impossible to work with him. The other days are hard and stressful sure, but I can still manage to get him taken care of.
Maybe that does count as neglect... I don't know anymore.

He also has appointments with his primary care and neurologist in the next few weeks, so right now I'm just kind of waiting around to find things out.
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There is much good advice here. If possible, take him to the hospital for evaluation, or after a fall. Once there, state firmly and frequently - that you are not able to take care of him at home; that he is not safe there.
Depending on the hospital and staff, they might try to convince you to take him home once he is better and/or evaluated. REFUSE to take him home. Keep repeating that you cannot take care of him safely, and he is not safe there. That will make them find other options or facilities.
You might be fortunate that you have great responses from hospital staff and they do not try to send him with you. But just in case - keep all this in mind.

A friend of mine had a daughter who had a severe brain trauma. Once she was better, they tried to send her home with her mom. She was not able to provide care and kept politely and firmly repeating that she could not. She had to be firm and repetitive. Eventually they found a great facility for her.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to oceansong

Does he qualify for medicade? Yes he can have both. My mom does. I'm in exactly your same shoes but my mom does not weigh 225 but still heavy when she does not use ger kegs to even stand.

I have my mom in Hospice they will provide the hospital bed that goes up and down with rails so he won't roll off the bed.. all the toiletries, pampers, pull ups, bedsheets medicines, wheelchair just about everything and I also have my mom on care attendant. She has 52 hours to use. So Monday through Friday someone cares for her 9am-5pm and Saturday and Sunday 4 hours each. My mom lives with me.

Now I will be honest. Sometimes the care providing service does not find attendants right away and sometimes those that do show up are merely baby sitters, I had to let them go but I've been very fortunate to have an excellent few so far I could rely on, opens up the day for me and the wife to step out and enjoy some time.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Rtrev64

You didn't mention your father's primary care physician. If he has one, you should consult the PCP now. It sounds like your father is unable to perform several Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) (such as dressing, bathing, ambulating, possibly continence?, and maybe others). If that's true, he may be eligible to receive support through additional avenues like palliative care and/or hospice.
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Reply to MarcoP

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