I have 5 children one of whom has severe Cerebral Palsey (100% dependent) plus I am my mother's primary caretaker. My mother has had several strokes that left her unable to speak fluently and 3 heart attacks left her weak and at times immobile. I'm struggling in all categories. Due to these circumstances,I cannot work.

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I don't see how you and your 5 children survive. Are you getting any child support and alimony from their dad? I assume your divorced?

This question comes up so frequently that I made a copy of what one person normally posts in response to this.

Majority of grown children do not get paid for caring for their parent, unless the parent is financially able to pay from their own pocket. If a parent can afford to pay you, the parent might as well hire a certified trained caregiver… thus allowing you to keep a full-time job so that you can add to your own retirement.

If your parent qualifies for Medicaid, the State might allow a trained Caregiver from an Agency to come in to help a couple hours a day. Check to see if your State has “Cash and Counseling” program. Note that each State has their own rules, regulations, and programs. Some have waiting lists.

Also, check with your local Council on Aging to see what programs they offer, such as an Aide coming to the house.

Here is one thing to think about if one is trying to decide whether to quit work to care for an aging parent.... on average if a working person quits work he/she will lose over the years between $285,000 and $325,000 which includes loss of salary, plus net worth loss of the health insurance, loss of money being put into social security/ Medicare, loss of other benefits such as matching 401(k), profit sharing, etc. [source: Reuters 5/30/12]
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Check with your county social services office. Benefits may be available for disabled child and a senior in verified need. But nobody is going to pay you big bucks to take care of them all-- benefits are earmarked for the child or senior not the caregiver. Some states do have a very minimal pay for very limited # of hours of medical care in home....but that is not intended to pay you a living wage to support you for the rest of your life and it certainly won't pay benefits like a career job. You need to focus on getting your child and senior any benefits due them, and then find a real career for yourself, because otherwise you will end up with nothing for your own senior years. Many people have in fact started from the bottom and worked very hard to make a living. You can do this too--let.the social services take over for child with disabilities and the senior, and get your own life on track.
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