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My parents have been able to handle their business up until this year I noticed a downward turn. The house was a little messier (but not bad), mom's Depends needed a bigger container and lid, plus needed to be taken out daily, and my dad is slowing down physically - he is her caregiver.

They also support my 48 yo brother, who has been unable to keep a good job in this small town. He has come to rely on their support. Years ago I told them that enabling him was not helping him. My dad told me just last year that he had been paying my brother's car insurance for 27 years! I'm fairly certain that my brother has no means of support if something happens to our parents.

My parents could take care of themselves better if they did not fork out this money on my brother, but they still have their faculties and won't change. My brother has asthma and a bad knee, and nearly died in the hospital last winter trying to keep the heat cut down in his trailer.

We are in crisis right now as my dad got clearance from all his doctors for knee resurfacing surgery. In recovery, he suffered a small heart attack. They then put in a pacemaker. In that recovery, he suffered a small stroke.

When they went in to do an angiogram, they found all his bypasses and stents blocked - he is 81 and probably has no good veins left nor could he survive a bypass after 3 procedures in a week). He has been sent to a TCU to learn to use the knee and implement lifestyle changes which I'm sure will include him stopping his consulting business that helped him pay support for his son.

I am driving down there to see what I can assess of the situation, but my hands are tied financially - I don't have anything to spare because we are also trying to spring my 24 and 18 yo (who is still in high school) into the world. The 24 yo has a part time job, and I need to get him to do more and be autonomous. He is working on his driving and is about to get his license. We have no spare money to help them with college, a car or car insurance.

(Our situation is not a failure to plan, it is having to live from paycheck to paycheck just barely making sure we have health insurance. If we had the means to save enough for college we would have done so. All we can do now is have the 24 yo pay rent and save that for him a car.)

I'm going down to assess, but right now I cannot afford another trip anytime soon, and I worry about things like talking to them about selling or giving up the house.

At one time I thought I would be able to handle things as they come, but not all at once, and I definitely have nothing to be able to help my brother with. If I were rich, I'd probably do the wrong thing and just house everyone, but I don't know how to handle such multiple and complex issues.

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Him - my brother.
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I visited, and things are hopefully being handled and put into place. PT and medical coordinators say he is mentally competent, answering questions, and signed his release forms when taken to TCU. I gathered support information as much as I could and helped find and consolidate bills with mom's and brother's help. I got him a notebook and a calendar to keep bills paid. He never really 'had' to do this before, but I'm sure he can learn. I've watched my 48 yo brother grow before my eyes. I think he knows I can't help anymore financially (but I did spent almost $400 getting them towels, flatware and household goods that must have been thrown out - the wash cloths I got her this summer are still there).

I could see Dad improve each day and I pray daily and constantly for him to regain the health that he can. I talked to the cardiologist. They do not plan on any more procedures unless he presents with symptoms. They want him to heal from 3 anesthesia procedures inside 6 days at 81 - he did say they nearly lost him.
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Even if you're in a small town, find the nearest clinic/hospital that is either a true geriatric clinic or that has geriatric doctors. The larger ones usually also have social workers, as well as the doctors. Even if this is a bit far away, they can sometimes help you find some that are closer.

They often have other resources, too. Some of them will have senior housing placement offices. Check out their web-site for other resources if you need local caregivers or anything else, too. My local hospital/geriatric clinic happens to have quite a lot on their web-site, even listing dentists that specifically cater to seniors, so it's worth taking a look even before you take the trip, there.
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You need to talk to a social worker who can help you determine the best way to handle all this. Please call and discuss this situation with the Area Agency on Aging that provides aging and disability services for their region. To find their number, you can call the national Eldercare Locator at 800-677-1116. Manned by Information Specialists, the Eldercare Locator is a toll-free national telephone service, supported by the Administration on Aging, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging and the National Association of State Units on Aging, to assist older people and their caregivers (especially long-distance caregivers). The Eldercare Locator provides information on a wide variety of services such as meals, home care, transportation, housing, home repair, legal and community services; and may also be utilized to find the telephone number of the Area Agency on Aging nearest to a caller needing assistance, or to the elderly relative for whom a caller is concerned.
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You could try contacting their local Council on Aging, but I would recommend talking to someone at the Agency on Aging in their area. The Agencies on Aging are referral services for everything from care-giving to Medicare/Medicaid/insurance questions, and can refer someone to help in most all areas. Hope this helps you at least to get started. Good luck with everything and God Bless - it looks like your plate is quite full. Don't forget to get some down time for yourself if you can so you will be healthy and be able to do all that you need to do.
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And call an exterminator. Have mom write a check. Is there a family friend or neighbor you can stay with?
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There should be a senior service agency in your parents' area and they can send someone out to do an assessment as to what services they are eligible for at this point; meals on wheels, housekeeping or visiting nurse. Do talk to the social worker a the hospital. Those folks usually have lots of information and resources available. Just be firm that there is no one at home to care for Dad.

I don't understand what would be gained moving away from your own home. There's employment issues, education and all that life business that would have to be relocated. Once you get social services involved, it may be determined your parents are better off in an assisted living facility that has different levels of care so you aren't moving them again in a few years. Maybe time to sell their house and make that tough decision for them that they need to live closer to you. Get their doctors involved in this discussion as well.

You will still advocate for them and see that they are well cared for and safe. It isn't necessary to move them into your home. You should have a talk with their attorney and accountant about all the legal paperwork that needs to be done. For some reason, our elders listen more to people outside the family, so they could really help get the parents' on board with all that needs to be addressed for their protection.

As mentioned, you are not responsible for your brother and his family. Don't get pulled into their drama. You can't change anyone but yourself! So just set that boat free and wish them well.

Sorry you are facing all of this. It is what happens when our parents don't prepare for their later years! Now the main focus is what is best for Mom and Dad. May not be easy but it does not require sacrificing your family and your own future! Wishing you all the best!

P.S. Stop at a pet store and get flea powder. Tell the brother to bath the dog!
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Not only that, now that I have a rental car and planning to drive down there starting at 6 in the morning, he tells me there are fleas in the house...

I was planning to stay there
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Go online and Google aging services and the name of their area and you will almsot certainly find what you need. What a mess.
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Whystlestop: I agree with ba8alou's advice. Would like to ask you: if you move your self and your family into your parent's home, your brother will be residing there- right? can you really see you all in that house together?
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Whystlestop, Your parents don't seem to have made a viable plan for their old age. Just remember that fact. Go for a visit, but with the clear idea that you are not responsible for them financially. Why on earth would your mom presume that you want to move to THEIR home when she's not willing to pull up and move to be closer to you and your children? If your dad is currently in rehab for his knee, an assessment will be made before he is discharged. The social worker at that facility is the person you talk to. Make it abundantly clear to her/him that you are not in the caregiving picture. Your mother may air I'll say "oh, our daughter will quit her job and come stay with us". Be sure the discharge people know the full story.
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Sometimes you can tell a person there is a train coming down the track that they are standing on, but they just won't move. Sounds like your situation. Based on my own experience, if you try to intervene a little on the early side, you will only make matters worse. It may be the best plan to let them go on their way until there is a complete catastrophe and they call you (versus you trying to help out earlier). Once brother bleeds them dry, he will leave. When they are penniless and incapacitated, the State may step in and you may be of some assistance then. You might try talking with their minister or a close friend who is still 'with it', to get them in to see an estate planning attorney. As a last resort, you can call the county office on aging and report them as a hazard to self, when they get to that point. The hospital that did the surgeries on your father will have a social worker who can direct you to some hopefully useful resources as well. Waiting and watching your parents decline, deny and enable derelict relatives is terribly frustrating but at this point they are still mentally competent and you don't have any authority in their affairs. You might put your concerns and advice in writing and give it to them, but it will likely anger them and not help them. I keep the Serenity Prayer, a big copy, in my kitchen where I read it several times a day. So sorry for your troubles.
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Litldogtoo, this lady laying up with two children is my brother's daughter and her boyfriend, not his lady. I know that changes things very little. I'm fairly certain she can go lay up at her mother's and that hopefully will change quick, fast, and in a hurry.
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Thank you so much. I hope others will chime in. I need to keep my strength up and explore options, and need to realize the answer is just not going to drop in my lap. That there will be several steps that will lead through a path.

My serve leader at church, having POA for both her parents, and accounting background, told me something very wise - not to go chasing rabbits that don't need chasing yet.
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I think you can find one through the hospital. Or ask the doctor. Someone here will be able to answer that question.

I'll be thinking about you and hope everything works out.
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Mainly because I live 750 miles away, Dad is too frail to move with his present convalescence, and my mother will not go. She has always said she does not want to live in Oklahoma where she knows no one. I do think she would be willing to move to a small place, and she wanted us to live in their house - but the logistics of that happening right now can't work. The house isn't paid for, and we would have to sell our home.

Calling in a social worker is exactly what I want to do, but have no idea how to locate one.
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Your brother is NOT your responsibility. Especially given his proclivity to making babies. You're not only taking your brother, you'll be taking in another woman and a couple of kids!

And you need Power of Attorney, whether your parents like it or not. Explain to them the ramifications of not having it. IF they own a house, he's going to want that house, lock, stock, and barrel, and could prevent you from selling it to use the money to care for your parent's needs. He is not your problem. Remove him from your mind.

Quite frankly, my mother was stubborn two years ago until she found herself in a geriatric psyche ward, with the STATE as her representative because she didn't want to sign a health care proxy and/or POA. Her stubbornness receded quickly once she found out it was either me or the nursing home. That's sounds mean but hey, you're the one who is going to take on the major stress factors that come with caring for this. You'll be sick, not your brother, not your parents. Quite frankly, I'm sorry I took my mother in, it's been fourteen months and she's going downhill quickly, and I'm stuck here by myself, living with her. My stress levels are through the roof.

Now the ultimatum. Tell your mother they need assistance and that assistance is not going to include your brother. Tell her you're willing to take them to where you live. Why on earth would you want to move to where they live? Why uproot your family? There are two of them, but four? of you. Find some sort of living arrangement, i.e., Medicaid may be able to help with that. They don't necessarily need to live with you.

If this is not to your liking, call in a social worker who may be able to help find a place for them in their town, with some help in caring for them.
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REf. above comment about his disability. I was referring to him staying on top of things. I'm sure there is nothing you can do to control him though.
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What a terrible situation and it's not likely to get any better. I have a little bit if experience with that kind of thing. I can tell you that when parents allow adult children to be coddled and never held accountable, it's pretty much hopeless. I have talked until I'm blue in the face. NO luck. Now my parents treat the grandson the same way. Now they are enabling the grandson. I gave up. They won't listen. I wish you the best.

What I would do is highly encourage them to get a Durable Power of Attorney and Health Care POA. These documents don't have to be used immediately. They are kept on hold UNTIL the person needs help. Then they are normally filed with the Register of Deed in the county of residence. It's difficult to act as POA if you live out of state. It sounds like Brother is ripe to abuse the power, so I would not think he is a good candidate. I don't know how you could stop them from naming him though. Perhaps they know inside that he is not a good candidate.

Perhaps you might have Dad appoint MOM as his durable POA and Healthcare POA, assuming she's competent, with an Alternate as someone else. Is there any other family member or close family friend who could do it?

I'm not sure why your parents don't understand why a POA is important. If you sustain a physical or mental injury that incapacitates you, there needs to be someone to step in immediately and take care of business. If not, you have to file a legal action with the courts and have them decide who should be appointed. Perhaps, you could explain that it's best for them to do it privately on their own accord, rather than have outsiders make that kind of decision.

The sad thing is that they may agree to do it, but then appoint your brother. Not good.

Sometimes all you can do is offer good advice and support. IF things go south, you'll have to clean up the mess later with help of the courts.

If he is really working on getting disability benefits, he may not be able to get a job and still pursue. He needs to be checking his mail for correspondence from his attorney. You have to stay on top on these kind of things.
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As for me, we have been for some time on a track to get our obligations wrapped up while living 750 miles away, but we are still 1-2 years away from being able to sell our house here and try to move there. My mother did mention the possibility of moving into their home and them moving into a smaller apt near the hospital (assisted living but not sure) so I know she is considering it even though she loves her home and is physically more comfortable in familiar surroundings since she broke her leg and relies on a walker now.
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They have a will, or at least, my mother told me some of the details just after they had it drawn up. The problem appears to be that they have tried to hide from me that they still support my brother. They have never asked me to support him, nor would I be able to even provide a roof over his head.

At this point, it looks like my dad still has all his faculties and will be coming home in 3 weeks. No one has POA and they previously would not consider it. My dad's heart issues (and the Dr.'s orders NOT TO STRESS HIM make it next to impossible to discuss this heavy subject with him until some time (hopefully a small amount) passes.

From my view, son (my brother) definitely qualifies for disability, and says he 'has someone working on it.' I know it can take quite some time, too, and if he finds work it will stop the work being done to secure it for him.

At the moment he is staying with mom in the house. He is capable of doing more (and is learning to do more right now as caregiver) so I think he is physically capable to continue this - although this would definitely hamper his ability to look for and to hold down a job. Part of my plan in having a talk with him is to tell him his dawdling time is over (as if he hasn't figured that out - on the phone I got the impression that he gets it reallllly good now).

I totally understand about the bill pay and accessing accounts. She is able to write checks, but I don't think she keeps up with balances. I had one accountant friend tell me that it didn't sound like POA is necessary yet, but try if they were open to it and to try to gather bills and see if there is a CPA that will offer bill pay as a service.

She told me that I am not going to be much help if I allow the overwhelm to crush me, but honestly, it seems that my parents thought by drawing up a Will that was all they needed to take care of.

Here's a twist. My brother (the son) has a daughter that has just had her second baby and is laying up in bed at the son's trailer with her boyfriend. Of course my brother allowed our parents to raise this girl and when she turned 18 she left and spent time living with friends and whoever until they kick her out. Seems the apple didn't fall far from the tree. She has let her drivers license expire so cannot get her WIC, and son doesn't know where the $20 went that he loaned her to get her license renewed. The boyfriend works during the day when she needs to go get it renewed, and when asked what she did with the money and when is she going to get the license she says, "Who will watch the babies?"

They need to wake up or they will be homeless, I'm afraid.
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Who has their Power of Attorney and Health Care POA? It sounds like son may not be the best candidate, but it's difficult to do that long distance.

If their son is so unmotivated that he has relied on his parents for support for all these years, then I don't see him stepping up and taking care of them, but I could be wrong. Does son qualify for disability? Does he help them around the house?

They definitely need to see an attorney regarding some financial and legal planning. Asset protection would be a big focus. Sometimes seniors will listen to reason and make arrangements for their care when it's needed, but often it's an uphill battle.

You say they are thinking clearly and that you dad still works, right?. If that's the case, there really isn't anything you can do, but suggest, provide information and beg. I'd let them know what you are able to do in the form of help so they can make their plans accordingly.

Do they have their Wills in order?

I don't know what their resources are, but a legal expert could discuss things like long term care, if that should be needed and private pay vs. Medicaid. You might inquire about your brother living with them to care for them and how long term that could effect asset protection of their home. I'm no expert, but have seen others on these boards address this questions.

If your mom's health is better than dad's, there are things that need to be done so that she's not caught with him incapacitated without a way to access bank accounts.
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