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I'm 52 and both parents are 78 with multiple medical issue. I recently took over their finances - I pay the bills, give my mom 4 checks a month for cash, etc....I go over to the house at least twice a week...my son and I help with yard work, cleaning, etc. My dad no longer drives ( mom does) so if my mom needs to go to a doc. appt. or elsewhere requiring a driver I do it. I go to the bank with my mom if she has questions about something...she is slowing getting things confused. I have shown up at the ER all the times in the last year (several!) they have either fallen or had a mini- stroke, etc.... You get the picture...they are increasingly needing more and more help.

My dilemma is I really need to supplement my families income with some sort of part time work...but aren't I already working a part time job now with all that I do for my parents? I want to be available for them as the siblings are minimally and grudgingly involved. If I didn't do this stuff they would have to pay someone anyway. How about me? Since I know everything about their finances they are in a position to pay me (and my mom does sometimes give me gas money as I live about 10 miles away) a small amount each month.

I am the sibling who has a one income family and the least able to incur all the expenses for helping mom and dad. It sounds like sour grapes but it's not. I have made peace with the fact that I am the caregiver and my siblings will not step up.

It just feels so wrong or off to ask my parents for a paycheck? know what I mean?

Thanks for listening!
Jane

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All such good advice. The world of elder care is extremely daunting but as I look at my mom and dad and how they are becoming so increasingly fragile and overwhelmed by everything happening to them I'm thankful I can be there for them..and yes I do have POA.
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Here is what I recommend: Send an email to all of your siblings with the list of work you do for your parents and the time it takes to get them done.

Include the prices of caregiver from, say the likes of Home Instead, or other caregiver provider.

Then say that you are willing to continue to support your parents but you need to be compensated (include reasons you already mentioned above). Once you reach a consensus with them, approach your parents together.

Do you have POA?
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A few more things to consider. If you plan to tap Medicaid, HOW your parents money is spent will become crucial. I strongly urge you to investigate as thoroughly as you can, hire an attorney schooled in elder care (there are many who specialize .. this site has many references), and it might even help if the family meeting started at the doctor's office. And, then .. call in a counselor .. the family will likely need a mediator.
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LadeeC - thanks a million! Great advice. I have thought about the supplemental insurance coverage but know the chances are slim that it will cover it. My parents have squandered (partly their fault, partly financial advisor's fault) a large part of their retirement money and now that I sort of have stopped the hemorraghing by paying the bills I agree with your thought .. why not have the money stay in the family with someone they trust?

In the past month my mother fell in Mcdonald's parking lot and my dad fell inside the house...luckily no one was injured badly but I just foresee more of those things happening with them. It's like watching a slow motion trainwreck :)

I so badly want to call a family meeting and discuss this with everyone but they all think I'm nuts and take it too seriously and "mom and dad are OK" .(if they're so OK why do I have control of their checkbook??!!)..sigh...I may just do it anyway and hope someone else besides me will participate.
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You could always start the discussion, by bringing up the FACT that your parents need someone to come into the home to help, or moving to an assisted living or other facility will eventually be required. If you've read very much of this site, you'll also find that 'some' help becomes, rather sooner than expected, full time help. Plan NOW. Discuss what resources are available, explain that they need to begin the budget for hiring fulltime work (that's around the clock, or live-in help), eventually. Strategize with the family, now. And, to avoid being the sole caregiver, explain what you know about burn-out and family discord, referring to all you've researched and learned about this dynamic ....

.... and wouldn't they rather see some of that money stay with the family?

Medicare won't pay for this. Check the supplemental insurance, a (very) few do. So, the burden of caregiving almost always falls on the family.

Best blessings on the journey ahead. And welcome to the site. I hope you come back and share how it goes.
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