Can FMLA cover me to spend quality time with my lonely, depressed parent in nursing home?

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If your workplace has a history of FMLA abusers (or even one), you will “mark yourself” when you start using FMLA to care for your parents. Not saying you shouldn’t. And yes, this is unfair. Beyond unfair. But it is a reality you need to acknowledge up front.

Partner actively with your parent’s doctor — and make sure he/she cites concrete medical/care needs. Within HIPPA guidelines, of course.

And keep all mention of depression out of it. Yes, it’s 2017 and we all know that depression is a medical condition. But the sad truth is that no one in the workplace gives a crap about your depression, let alone your parent’s.

In the workplace, any perception of “not all that serious” regarding someone’s FMLA can harm that person’s reputation. Granted, your supervisor and peers cannot officially discriminate against you. But informal sleights and bad vibes are easily spread around.....and very hard to prove.

Take the FMLA, if that’s what’s right for your personal situation. Just be very careful about language and demeanor. And be the best, most conscientious, most reliable worker you can be when you are at work.

Good luck. The juggle and struggle is so hard.
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Check with your employer first to make sure you meet the qualifications for FMLA, usually you need to have worked somewhere for 1 yr. I can’t remember if small companies with less than 50 employees don’t have to provide FMLA. I think not.
Also FMLA is usually unpaid leave. You have to have paid time off hours accrued and will get paid for the hours you have in the bank but that’s it.
I had to take FMLA a few times when my mom had heart surgery, her mastectomy & then when she fell & fractured her hip when she came home. keep in mind (as I did) that you can only use FMLA within one 12 month period & you may want to save some of those 12 weeks in case she has another episode that you would use FMLA for.
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MY FMLA for my dad, and now for my mom, says to "help with activities of daily living, Dr apts, and care". I never had any issue when I rarely,, note rarely.. had to use it. In fact, normally I use it for heavy snow days as Hubs is busy digging us and our neighbors out, and I can not take a chanc the power will go out and Mom will be in the house alone with no heat or running water, and want to "help", I have never had a problem. Just watch and advise your Dr on how to fill it out. They actualy WANT to help you get this done , or at least our Dr does.
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I just sent you a link from NOLO.com, a legal website.

Your profile says that your parent is in a NH and the primary ailment is depression.

That really seems unlikely that your parent was admitted to a NH ONLY because of depression and that there is nothing else medically going on other than depression. 

I hope that you bring all the resources that exist in the NH and outside of it to treat your parent's depression.
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I think you need to look at the laws around FMLA. Do they specify what illnesses a parent needs to have? I'm  hoping others come along to chime in.

On a completely different note, depression is a treatable illness. Has your parent been seen and evaluated for depression by a competent geriatric psychiatrist? It's something to consider.
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