He is scheduled to move early next year. My concern is that despite having major health issues but I am expected to be the caregiver. You can bet is something goes wrong, I'll never hear the end of it. I am already trying to build a business and the obstacles I'm facing are substantial enough. I honestly feel like walking away from the entire caregiving situation but I probably won't.

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Elizabeth, I know your mood is somber, depressing and down right now, but that doesn't mean that it must stay that way. I don't intend to give you a Pollyanna lecture, but don't accept that you have no options. Consider this time as being in a bad place financially and emotionally, but don't accept it as given for the rest of your life.

There are organizations (used to be an Operation Able) that help older people find jobs. Spend some time and list the job skills that you used in your career and try to identify jobs that use those same skill sets. Google the different skill sets on something like on of the job sites - do a search for them. Call local libraries and ask if they have job assistance.

Even if you take a job that doesn't match your skill sets and is beneath your qualifications, consider it as providing experience that you can leverage to something better.

If transportation is an issue, contact your local public transit company and ask if they have dial-a-ride, point to point transit, whatever it's called. It's cheaper than line haul bus far and could get you close to a job if you're in a metropolitan area.

Transit companies also have ride-share programs; you might even be able to get someone to pick up you.

If $16 is all you get in food stamps, contact food distribution centers like Forgotten Harvest and see if you can get assistance from them.

You'll have to spend some time finding resources, but there are some out there, and given the explanation of your career, they're also within you - you have to overcome the depression and negative outlook and find those resources that you had sometime ago.

I believe I read some years ago that Larry King suffered financial ruin, but he turned around and climbed right back up to the top. Most people don't have his connections or aggressiveness, but he's an example of someone who wouldn't stay down and depressed.

I know this isn't easy; I've been in a similar situation sometime ago, and it was frightening. But think of your assets and strengths instead of what you don't have.

Spend some time first working on your mood so you can find a more positive outlook, list the tasks ahead of you (finding a job, getting food assistance, etc.), and stop when you become depressed. Take a break and read something uplifting or escapist until you feel better.

Think how much worse it could be, and yet other people don't give up - imagine if you were caught in one of the Mt. Everest earthquakes, or were in NJ in a home along the coast which had become flooded and you lost literally everything.

I don't want to sound simplistic, but just don't accept that you're going to be poor, empty and lonely for the rest of your life. You do have a choice, and there is support, although it can be hard to find.
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Thank you everyone for your kind answers and thoughtful advice. I have been to the doctor and been seeing a mental health therapist. Also on anti-depressant medication that helps somewhat, however, most days still feel grim. I even applied for food stamps and qualified for $16 a month! As far as my ex husband goes, I cannot get alimony because he lives on social security and rents a room. He has nothing. We both ended up in near poverty after having good paying careers all our lives. We lost everything during the financial collapse. He's angry at me because I helped destroy his own retirement by my "bad" investment decisions. (as if I knew the market was going to collapse). If I could get alimony I sure would be. Mom had a stroke three years ago. She lives in her own place. I have my own house. She likes living alone. She is close by so I am always on call. I think if it weren't for my financial situation being such a disaster, I would be fine. Having had money most of my life and not having it anymore makes a huge difference. I saved for my future since I was 16. I wish now I would have done all the things I wanted to do earlier in my life while I had the money. Now all there is left to look forward to is poverty, emptiness, and loneliness.
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freqflyer, the new addition to this thread is from ElizabethMT. Her brother left, too.
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Jazzy, need more information. Do your parents live with you, you live with them, or are they still in their own home? What are their health issues? Mobility issues? Memory issues?

That would help us figure out the situation. If hope you are still on the forums, as I noticed you wrote your question back in November.
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I'm not there and we've not met, but I have to say that whether your brother is there or not changes absolutely nothing. They're in YOUR home, so that's where the work is going to happen.

My advice is to find a place mom & dad can be together and use your home as your safe place to get back on your feet and establish a new normal.
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Elizabeth, contact both Chula Vista management as well as California to find out what agencies offer assistance to the elderly, and find out the age at which this assistance is offered.

Michigan has an Eldelr Law agency which coordinates advice on everything from free legal advice to food sources for eligible seniors. One of the local Jewish synagogues even volunteers to prepare food assistance applications for seniors.

And ask the attorney who handled the divorce about repetitioning the court to get alimony. If you have no job, no career and no work history, you should be entitled to some assistance from your ex.

Check out senior centers to see if they offer any assistance in job hunting; there also used to be an Operation Able which provided that assistance as well. Libraries sometimes have refresher courses on job hunting in the electronic age.
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ElizabethMT, for the moment, let's just regard you as an only child.

You just went through a divorce. That is a huge stress in one's life, even for the person who initiated and wanted the divorce. You need time to heal from this.

You are in a financially difficult spot. Not only is your future uncertain because you've already been using your "retirement" funds, but your present is scary. The fridge is empty. Major stressful stuff here!

In such a highly stressful situation it may genuinely appear that there's nothing more to look forward to. You are only 61. The next year or so may be particularly grim, but you may have another 30 or more years, and they really, really won't all be grim! Please do not make any rash decisions while you are so stressed out.

I think the first thing to do is to see if there is some help available for your mother, or for you. I would call your county social services office and ask for a needs assessment appointment for your mother. Someone will come out and gather information about your mom, what she can do for herself, what she needs help with, her medical needs, etc.The intake worker will determine if there are some benefits she is entitled to. This might include in-home help, help with buying medications, or even a care center. Anything at all would help, wouldn't it?

Is the house you are living in your mother's or yours? Are you living together? Does Mom have some income? (SS, pension,?) Have you looked into subsidized housing for your and your mother? The intake worker can give you information about that possibility. What about food stamps? Again, if this is a possibility the intake worker can help.

Get all the help you or your mother are entitled to. Go to a local food bank. Get some fresh food in the fridge. One thing at a time! Get support from social services and gradually work your way into a more viable situation. You won't be in this terrible situation forever!

Put your brother out of your mind right now. Perhaps he will be a part of your future, but right now you don't have extra time and energy to pursue that family tie.

Tomorrow, visit a food shelf. Tomorrow call for a needs assessment appointment. (You may have to wait some -- they are often very busy.) Make a decent meal for you and Mom with what you picked up at the food shelf. Tell yourself that brighter days are ahead. Take it one day at a time.

Please let us know how you are doing!

If you want to share more details, such as about Mom's health, or about the mortgage problem, etc., perhaps other posters will have some specific suggestions.
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I'm dealing with the same issue. My brother is moving out of state leaving me, his only sibling, to worry about mom. It wouldn't be so bad if my mother and I were somewhat financially secure, but I just got divorced (no alimony, nothing at all), I cannot pay the mortgage and don't even have a job. I'm 61 and have used up most of my retirement savings, my car's falling apart, and I am too. There's no other family. The friends I do have don't know I'm alive anymore because I am always busy with mom or shut in the house worrying about how I'm going to make ends meet. And most of my closer friends live too far, moved away or passed away. I've never felt so lonely and afraid as I do now. Mom is in very bad health. My refrigerator is empty and Top Ramen is making me sick. I'll be glad when this life is over. There's nothing more to look forward to. Every day is such an effort.
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Jazzy, do you think you could have a heart to heart discussion with your parents to explain that you can't handle full time caregiving, or do you think they expect you to do this one way or the other?

I agree with Windy. And try to find a middle ground, even though your parents might not like it. Caregiving doesn't mean that you have to be the one doing all the work; if your parents can afford it, you can hire it out. It may be hard to convince them of that though.

You might want to make an exhaustive list of everything you think they will need, then divide up the tasks to those which you can handle and those which you can't. Start working on finding resources so you can put them in place when it happens.

(I should have done this long ago!)

If your parents are mad, they're going to be mad. It's beyond the ability and responsibility of you (and us as well) to make them pleased; the primary goal is to ensure that they get good care.
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The first advice I would give is to do what's best for your parents and YOU. If you not up to hands on caregiving arrange care in home or in a facility. Don't let anyone guilt trip you about this. Some folks can do it 24/7 but most regret trying this. I'm the only one left for my parents. I made a decision to not live with them nor they with me. Which ever way you go make sure you get the legal and financial stuff in order: POA, wills, end of life directives, etc.
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