Follow
Share

I left home at an early age due to neglect...yet in my middle age have been repeatedly pulled in to help my father as he dealt with the outcomes of poor financial decisions, and stubbornly resisted adjusting to age-related conditions.

He suffered a stroke this month and is being discharged into a nursing home.

I live several thousand miles away and arranged for that nursing home placement, for which I am financially responsible.

I expect he will be very unhappy, but he is bedridden and unable to return to his home, which is in need of significant repairs. He took out a reverse mortgage on it years back, and it is very poorly maintained.

He has no assets and lives on Social Security in a state where children are legally obligated to support elderly parents, and where Medicaid assistance for nursing home care is severely limited.

My sibling and I had each “moved” him to our respective states during past crises, and “set him up”, but he chose to go back to his home state after either a year or a few months...despite our concerns about lack of equivalent services, difficulty in our helping him there, etc.

“It’s my life,” he said each time. “And I’ll live it my way.”

Because of this, my sibling pretty much stopped talking to him a few years ago, and I feel the weight of his care primarily on my shoulders.

I dread the next phone call or text requiring I scramble through another hoop.

I fret about his situation before I fall asleep, and think about it when I wake up.

And I keep ping ponging between “shoulds” and trying to accept “it is what it is” instead.

I also appreciate being able to share my thoughts and struggles in this forum, and welcome any helpful insights or suggestions.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
La la, I had a pretty good childhood, but to be honest, I did a great deal of my very " Hands off" caregiving with resentment that I'm not particularly proud of.

So, no, I don't think you need to con yourself into seeing this as a growth opportunity. And I see no harm in turning the care of your noncompliant dad over to the State. They can actually make him comply; you can't.

The worst scenario I can see ( one which a cousin faced) was having legal guardianship over her mentally ill and noncompliant dad. You end up with all of the wrath of a crazy parent AND all the legal responsibility. Better to let the authorities take over and be the pleasant visitor, in my book.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Hi Igloo,

Thanks so much for your response.

Based on what I know so far, my preferred choice would be the DPOA route. I’ve scheduled a trip to see him for a few days during the second week of March, and I am exploring legal options in advance of that trip, with the hope of being able to get that DPOA while I’m there.

I will wait to sign the paperwork from the nursing home until I have more clarity, and however I end up signing, I want to make clear that there are some “limits”around my obligation. My reading of the soft copy is that is very open ended around “non-covered medical expenses”, which I am not willing to give carte blanche on in terms of my personal liability.

Despite my frustration and my deep angst, as long as I’m employed, it doesn’t feel “right” to leave my father to become a ward of the state.

If my job goes away (and it might, given proposed federal budget cuts), that would change...hence my desire to limit any open-ended liability on the NH paperwork.

I guess what I struggle most with is unresolved anger and resentment: do unwelcome parental obligations stir up repressed childhood pain for others? In my better moments, I try reframe as a “personal growth opportunity” but it’s one I resist, and wish I could skip!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Lalulu..... lol on the facility wanting only residents with someone “local”. I’m sure that it’s nice to have family nearby to visit their elder to encourage them to be active, participate in activities but it’s not required. Since this place has seemed to be overly emphasizing $$, being “local” Imo thats all about giving them someone in their city or state to be able to set debt collectors on if things go bad. The exwife has indicated that she’s not gonna pay so they are leery. They know fully well it’s going to impossible to sic onto you for his debts if you live in another state. Unless they can get you to personally sign off to be legally responsible for him.

If your dpoa then you sign, “Jane Smith Jones in her limited capacity as dpoa for John Smith” and on every single piece of paperwork that needs a signature and you copy all and mail a set certified mail with the return receipt green post card to the facility. Duo is like $8.00 and considered legal verification. But your not his DPOA, correct? 

Choices are 1. you become his dpoa or 2. you personally sign to be fully re$ponsible, Or 3. you don’t do either & you flat let him become a ward of the state. What that path seems to take is...... facility - if Medicaid can’t be worked though &/or bill won’t get addressed or paid - then contacts APS; APS requests an emergency ward of the state hearing / placement for your dad; hearing request goes before judge or his staff, usually it’s probate court judge as they hear guardianships; request is granted and judge names a temporary guardian or conservator for dad; judge or his staff have a list at the ready for vetted guardians; guardian then takes over all and gets dad SS, etc paid to this NH or transfers him to another NH.

All dads care from this point forward is under guardians purview. The sticky will be whatever the past due bill is. If your living in the state, collections can try to pin on you. If you live in another state that’s harder to almost impossible is my understanding unless the facility is part of a chain that has facilities in your state as well. Like Brookstone is a whole bunch of states.

Honey, your dad is not your problem unless you choose to let him become that.

Also the case that “filial” articles usually revolve around is the Pittas case in Pennsylvania. Pittas is to me NOT at all the typical elder in a NH situation. The lady in Pittas was in her early 60’s & in an auto accident. She entered a rehab facility post hospitalization. Her insurance ran out and she supposedly applied for Medicaid & filed a auto insurance claim/lawsuit. She was NOT on MediCARE as she was too young for MediCARE. She did not complete submitting the paperwork needed to get her MedicAID application filed much less be reviewed for eligibility. Ditto for vehicle lawsuit. AND - this is to me mucho importante- then she signed herself out of the rehab facility and moved back to her home country of Greece where she was still a citizen of & where her husband lived. SHE MOVED BACK TO GREECE. Facility - part of a chain - went to arbitration (as per terms of admissions contract) to get bill paid from the son as he had signed some of the paperwork. In arbitration, Sonny was found NOT responsible. BUT the facility decides to sue him anyway as they do not have to accept arbitration decision (it’s a one sided contract probably). They took Sonny to court. Imo, Sonny & his atty assumed that cause they won in arbitration that they would win easily in traditional court before a single judge hearing. They didn’t prepare a detailed case AND they didn’t include his 2 sisters as co defendants in the lawsuit (which would mean IF Sonny lost it’s all his $$ & not split 3 ways). So judge rules in facilities favor. Sonny gets 90k debt. Sisters not affected at all. 

Pittas is not the usual elder in a NH situation. Most are going to be in a NH & old and will be already on Medicare, so a huge part of medical costs are being paid by Medicare as well as paid by the post hospitalization Medicare rehab benefit of 100% first 20 days then 80% aftwards to 100 days in rehab. & mom isn’t moving back home to Greece. So keep this in mind when you read any article that references Pittas. Just saying....
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

I appreciate that, thanks!

PS: I just confirmed he was transferred to the nursing home this afternoon.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

We've got someone on here, Igloo. I'm going to see if I can ping her and get her to share some expertise.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

HI Barb,

I don’t have POA, and I sent you a PM...

Thanks for all your feedback, I really appreciate it!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Good Lord, what state is this?

Are you dad's power of attorney?

Dad should sign the admission papers himself.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Hi Barb,

I haven’t yet signed the nursing home’s paperwork, but I did wire them money to ensure he has a bed.

They sent me soft copies by email to read and digest, but said to wait to sign originals coming my way by snail mail.

They have also been adamant about the need for a “local” family member to serve as point of contact, a role my father’s ex-wife is filling for the time being. Not sure if that will be sustainable long term, though.

Regarding rehab, the local facilities refused to accept him, because a “close family member” was not available to participate in the daily therapy sessions.

The nursing home director said rehabs are leery of families “abandoning” their indigent relatives and refusing to take them home, and hence the refusal.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Is he still in the hospital?

Do not sign ANYTHING regarding discharge or financial responsibility for him.

What state does he live in? Colorado, where I see you live, is NOT a filial responsibility state.  

Are you considering guardianship?  That seems like not a very good choice.  It will cost many thousands of dollars and since he is indigent, it's going to come out of your funds.  He will still be non compliant with what is best for him, but as guardian, YOU will be legally responsible for him.

I would also be cautious about taking what his ex wife is telling you the hospital is saying as accurate..  Can you ring up the discharge department and speak with them directly?  Is he eligible for rehab, which might be paid for in full by Medicare for up to 20 days? 
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Hi Barb,

I’ve based that on:

1) What I could find online on government websites (copy of law) and news coverage of the law.

2) His ex-wife relaying hospital “directives.” She’s been surprisingly helpful during this hospitalization, although she is also draining his limited funds for “incidentals” at a very rapid pace, without providing an itemized breakdown. Since she is the sole person on the ground “stepping up” it hasn’t seemed worth having a confrontation over, at least not yet.

3) A friend who is a CPA there...

So hence my call to a local attorney, who advertises as handling family law, guardianship, and trusts.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

You need a certified Eldercare attorney, or at least someone familiar with Medicaid regs in dad's state.

Who told you that you were responsible?

If it's "his" life, then you aren't responsible for fixing it. Even in States with filial responsibility on the books, exceptions are made for cases of abuse or neglect.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I have called an attorney, and am waiting to hear back.

I hadn’t heard of Miller Trusts...will look into that, thanks for the suggestion.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Have you consulted an Eldercare attorney about creating a Miller Trust?

https://www.agingcare.com/articles/how-to-use-a-miller-trust-for-medicaid-eligibility-207367.htm
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Hi Barb,

He does not “qualify” for Medicaid in his state, because his monthly $1,100 Social Security income is “too high.”

The law there is that children are responsible, including their own pensions, 401k, etc. Pretty draconian, imho...

They modeled the parental support law on child support...
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

How did you end up financially responsible?
Are you extremely wealthy? Who told you that you would be responsible for his bills?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.