I currently live in Virginia. My spouse and I are considering moving to NC (Brunswick county) in order to take care of my parents. They do not have the finances to pay for a nursing home nor do I want to see them go there. My father is legally blind, my mother suffers from dementia. When the time comes to move, I will be closing down an in home business i have been running for 30+ years. I would need to be with them 24/7 so the plan would be to find a rental home and move in together (they currently live in a 55+ community that is low income).

I went to the Senior Center in Southport and talked to someone there who did confirm that I could become a paid caregiver. Would they pay overall for both parents or just one? Also, will they pay me if we are living in the house together? Once we are down there, my husband will be able to hopefully find a job, but I will pretty much be taking care of my parents which will prevent me from working, giving up income and a business here.

Who to call and get some information and answers? I was told there is a wait list due to the fact there is no funding. Wondering how long that list is. I would move at any point and figure something out but long term, I cant realistically go there and then worry how we are going to pay for rent and necessities if we only have the one income coming in.


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there are no easy answers. I was trying to move them here to Va but to be honest I dont think they could handle such a drastic move. My father has told me she was evaluated several times. one dr says yes she has Alzheimers, another says no. The wandering is recent, and I WISH I could be there for dr visits to hear what is said. I DO have medical POA for both of them. Unfortunately my father hasnt agreed to a financial POA as of yet. it is the next thing we will be talking about. I have told him what he needs to do and explained to him the importance that should he become incapacitated suddenly (heart attack, stroke, etc) and cannot make those decisions anymore, that I can do it for him. He stands fast by what money he does have, I guess it is the last amount of independence he feels he has. Someone has explained to me that it can be put in place and I only have power if and when something drastic happens and he cant handle the finances, until he still has control.

The pay is almost $20 per hour, 35-40 hours a week with opportunity to pick up OT by doing field trips. There is some work that can be done during summer - Summer school, then work in the warehouse, etc during the summer months or we have to compensate for the time off. This has me worried anyway for our financial well being staying in the area we are in (washington DC area). He is not limited to the bus driving, he is also looking into changing over to something else that would be year round in the county. Just getting his feet wet and has already been told there are def other opportunities to make more money. Also, they have told him that the retirement homes in the area will hire on county bus drivers for the summer to drive the residents to dr appts, mall, etc. So there is something he can do. Life is a lot like juggling and boy do I feel like i am doing a LOT of that. I really appreciate your thoughts and help.
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Thanks for answering my questions and so quickly. You do have a lot to think about! It sounds like your mom needs to be evaluated by her doctor. When the doctor sees her, you need to tell the doctor your observations and what others have observed plus the stories about the wandering. I say this because parents, like my mom did, try their best to be at their best when seeing a doctor and may come across as doing better than they really are. I hope you already have medical and durable POA for each of them.

I don't know how much money driving a school bus brings in, but that is work only for the school year. I would hope he could find a year round job.

You have a lot to balance and figure out.

I'll ponder your replies some more.
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Freqflyer, I would definitely look into backup/respite help as well. Between some of the people who have helped my parents out and those I can possibly find once I am there and can follow through. it is hard to do from 400 miles away. Just trying to get all my ducks in a row right now and giving this a lot of thought. Just know they cannot stay on their own much longer. my father has become a fall risk and I worry about them everyday. :(
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cmagnum, when I called the senior center over a month ago, they never called me back. I went there the week after christmas to talk to someone in person, but the person I needed was not in. They told me she would call me. She hasnt as of yet. I plan to try calling again tomorrow to get what info I can.

in answer to your questions:

1. My mom has never been formally diagnosed with Dimenia and I may have jumped the gun on that, perhaps dealing with alzheimers. and you are correct, I need to definitely read more about it. Mainly, she is forgetful, cannot handle anything from finances to cooking to caring for herself. She will care for herself only if reminded. We have recently been dealing with (3x as of now) with her going out of the apartment and wandering. Twice in the hallway, once outside. Twice brought back by the police :( I realize this will get worse and will handle that as the time comes. I do have some resources there that can help us however I will need to be the main caregiver.

2. My father is 87, my mom 85. My father has peripheral vision (he has macular degenerative eye disease so legally blind but can see enough to cook and run a vacuum). A neighbor is doing their laundry for them, another neighbor is taking them to dr appts, grocery shopping, bank etc. He checks in on them everyday in the morning and asks if they need to go anywhere that day. If they dont but need something, he goes and picks things up for them ie groceries, prescriptions, etc.

3. In a nutshell, I have a sister who is worthless. She lives 5 minutes from them yet days/weeks will go by without a visit or call. At times they have no idea where she is. She is not well medically, physically and I would never trust her with care with them. Long past history that is not positive.

4. Will continue to search, just found this site today :)

5. My husband lost his job in April last year as a supervisor. After applying and taking 2 months of training he was just hired on as a school bus driver for our county. He has supervisory skills, can drive a semi if need be, and could actually see about bus driving down there (the one neighbor who helps my parents daily told me he saw an ad looking for bus drivers down there right now!)

6. Right now, my business is part time because I work a second job, that one online. That one can go with me when/if we move however it is not a job to count on. (i was without work from Aug-Dec 2013, and hours cut back in Oct 2014 and waiting for them to bring them back up). Between both, I would say I am actually going to make as much as my husband with the rate he will be making driving the school bus.

7. No immediate health issues. My husband has some back issues he deals with but nothing life threatening for either of us or continually on treatment for

8. That is the big one. Not as prepared as we'd like to be. :(

9. My husband is fully on board with this. From moving to being there to help and support me.

10. Something we have already been thinking over. Just need to figure out where he can stay should he find something, because we cant really afford two households until house is ready to sell and on market.

I hope this helps. I will be doing more searching tomorrow as well as making phone calls. Greatly appreciate the eye openers. Any suggestions are welcome.
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Go to the blue bar near the top of this page, click on "Money & Legal", now click on "Paying for Care".

Majority of grown children do not get paid for caring for their elderly parent, unless the parent is financially able to pay from their own funds. If so, that parent and the grown child will need to put together an employment contract.

Since your parents will eventually need around the clock care, it will be physically impossible for just one person to do all the work of 3 Caregivers who work 8 hour shifts, who get time off and return fresh for the next day, and who have weekends off. With your Mom having dementia, unfortunately it will only get worse, much worse... you and your spouse will need to decide who will be up all night with Mom. Or would your Dad be able to help her?

Check with your local Council on Aging to see what is available for Aides to come to the house for a couple of hours to help give you. Caregiver burnout comes quickly. You will be exhausted at the end of the day. Note that 1 out of every 3 Caregiver dies leaving behind the person they were caring.

You might want to check to see if your parent could qualify for Medicaid, each State has different requirement and different things they do to help with or pay for.
Helpful Answer (1)

Sounds like you have several logistical challenges. The is the most popular question on this site with no easy answers.

Here is a list of articles and threads about being paid while caring for parents from this site.

When you were at the Senior Center in Southport and talked with someone, did you ask them the questions that you list above? If not, then you need to call the folks at the center and ask them.

I have several questions that come to mind. It helps us reply to your situation by getting to know more details.

1. How bad is your mother's dementia?

I don't know how much you know about dementia right now, but it would be a good idea to do a site search about dementia on this site using the site search box in the upper right hand corner. I say this because of the many stories here of people who have thought they could be their parent's 24/7 caregiver only to find themselves overwhelmed in the advanced stages of dementia which are too much for one person 24/7.

2. How much care do your parents require right now? How old are they? How are they functioning now with you in VA?

3. Do you have any siblings that can meet together and form a short term and long term family plan for your parent's to be helped by? Sometimes siblings actually do come together and make good plans.

4. I would also do a search on this site concerning moving in with parents.

5. What kind of work does your husband do and what is the job market for someone with his skills like in the New Hanover County area?

6. How much of your income as a couple comes from your current in home business?

7. How is your health and your husband's health doing?

8. How ready are you two for your own retirement and old age?

9. What does your husband think about this idea?

10. Wouldn't be a prudent idea to for your husband to find a job down there before moving down there with the way the economy is right now?
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