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I don't even know what category to put this in.


I'll try and be as direct as I can.


There is a family friend who helped care for my grandfather when he was sick up until he died. That same person needed a place to stay so I figured it couldn't hurt and I could use the extra rent money and I know I could make it dirt cheap for him compared to what he has before.


But I very quickly realized he needs a LOT of help. Sure, he can bathe himself, feed himself (though he only cooks literally one thing, and otherwise only makes sandwiches and such), etc. But otherwise he's completely dependent on others.


He had zero idea on how to pay his own bills, zero idea how to use his phone if a name isn't already in the contacts, can't even schedule his own doctor appointments or call in his own prescriptions. He can't drive. And if you try to attempt at getting him to cook anything other than his sandwiches or crockpot "goulash", even as simple as a box of Mac n cheese, he is completely lost. He can BARELY manage to shop for himself. He's on disability and Medicaid.


My aunt helped him for a few years and I'm almost feeling like she pawned him off on me, so to speak, without giving me the details that he needed all of this extra assistance.


I, myself, am pending disability after near working myself to death (quite literally) and am a single father with custody of my kids and I'm restoring the house because I bought it cheap "as is". So I'm already pretty strapped for time and attention.


Now, we've since figured out an apartment for him, but my phone is absolutely blowing up from him needing this and that and I can't keep running out to him when I've got so much else going on.


It's not that I don't want to help. It's that I can't. Again, single dad, two kids living with me, I'm awaiting disability myself due to injuries, and I can't keep up with it all and I need to focus on my kids first.


My family has taken care of this man, who isn't even related to us, for four years or more. I'm unsure the extent of his family but I do know he has a daughter and granddaughter, but they've done nothing to help him.


He's a good guy. And I've been doing my best at making time for him, but I can't raise my kids, take care of my household, AND care for someone elderly who isn't even related to me. His family needs to step up or I need to find more options for his care. His Medicaid covers tech assistants that can take him shopping or help him get his meds, whatever, but I also have been around him long enough to know he will refuse that help. But the longer time goes on, the more dependent on me he's become.


At what point is enough enough? My state does have laws in place that obligate people to care for their elderly direct family members whether directly or financially, but I don't want to seem like a jerk for getting all legal with it. And I know if I try to involve social services to get him some help, he's going to refuse it.


He can't keep getting more dependent on me with my own declining health and needing to raise my kids. I'm not qualified to do so. I literally don't have the physical stamina to do it because of my own injuries.


I'm just at a loss. If my health was better or I didn't have custody of my kids then I'd have the physicality and the time, but I don't. I don't mind helping, but it's becoming less help and becoming more dependent.


I don't know what to do.

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Is it possible the manto whom you've been offering care has some level of developmental disability, or, at the other endof the spectrum, he has some degree of dementia? I agree with JoAnn29 that it is time to get APS involved. Perhaps his Medicaid that includes some aides relates his mental disabilities? Possibly he is not competent to make his own decisions. I know about APS only from learning about it from others on this forum, so I'm not sure if they are able to take on the role of communicating with his relatives, and if they are unintrested, pursuing state guardianship for him. Regardless of what he says he wants or what assistance he refuses (while asking for much other assistance), it appears that he is not capable of managing his life without support--and you cannot be the one to continue to give it, even though you would selflessly offer to do so if you didn't have major family responsibilities! Your children need you, and they have their futures ahead of them!
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JoAnn29 Apr 23, 2020
APS will try to find family and guilt them into taking over responsibility of him. If that fails, then they would file for guardianship. The less work they have to do, the better.
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You are going to have to be a 'jerk' and use that law to get his own family to step up.

You and your kids come first. Period. You are of no use when you're struggling and in ill health.

I would try to 'nicely approach' the family members, then if they balk (and i bet they do) you just go legal on them.

Doing too much for others often comes back to bite us, I have found. I'm still learning to pull back and let (make?) others take some of the responsibility that is theirs.

Wishing you the best.
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FloridaDD Apr 22, 2020
It is very very rare for a state to use filial laws to get adult children to care for their parents.  In the situations I have seen, it involved transfers of asset to kids, insurance settlements etc.  Not just telling kids to step up.

I think OP needs to see a lawyer and may have to institute eviction process (may not be possible during era of Corona).  OP may want to look for appropriate senior housing and get the guy on a wait list
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I'm not sure where you're getting information about his family being legally obligated to take care of him, but it is not correct. His daughter and grand daughter are not going to be forced to do anything if they either can't help or don't want to. You are going to have to have a conversation with this man and explain to him you are unable to provide his living arrangements anymore due to your own health and family's health. Perhaps you can help him find another place, or if not, call state social services and have them get involved.
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TMacher86 Apr 23, 2020
He already has an apartment. I helped him into one. But we live in the middle of nowhere where there's no public transportation and even medical services are hard to come by. If I completely blank on him, it's not guaranteed that even Medicaid or any other program could help him get to the doctor or even the grocery store. There's no store delivery, no uber, no nothing out here.

And as for the legal part, it varies by state. Some do. Some don't. Yours may not. But others do. Some states treat it like child support and custody. I've been in the courtroom (as an assistant) and had to listen to these cases. Yes it's a thing.
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Again, try APS, but they may be closed or just dealing with the caseloads they have now. Since u have reached out to the family, give APS the #s.

Medicaid offers transportation to doctor visits. Call them and see how he signs up. There maybe a small fee on his part.

I have been where you are. It started by taking my GFs Mom to doctor appts. Then my GFs husband found they couldn't make it on retirement so he went back to work. (GF had health problems from being a juvenile diabetic) So, we started driving her to Dr appts. Then the adult daughter that lived with them started having health problems, so we were asked to drive her. DH was retired but I was working one week on, one week off. In one month, we had 3 days each week taking one of them to doctors. Sometimes, the mother and daughter going to the same complex. I asked if couldn't they coordinate their appts so we could kill 2 birds with one stone. Also, all their drs were in DE and we all lived in NJ. It was only over the bridge but traffic is awful over there. I started getting resentful and taken advantage of. I got out of it by watching my grandson. I warned them months before so they could set up drivers. I no longer volunteer for anything. It tends to obligate you. If I am asked, then I would probably do it but I don't feel obligated.
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jacobsonbob Apr 26, 2020
Did they even bother to reimburse you for the tolls?
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You sound at the end of your rope. I don't blame you, this is a very difficult situation. But if you don't change it, you may be inviting dire consequences - and then where will he be, not to mention your children?

If there are resources that will help him, get those started and wean him off you. It will take time, patience, and planning. Gradually be less available as the services step in more. If he "refuses," persist. Don't give in. Keep pushing back. Remind yourself that this is not negotiable; the situation has become unsustainable.

Being in reactive mode is really stressful and makes a person feel not in control of their own time. Start doing some planning so you're dealing with the situation in a more measured, controlled way. How you do this will depend on the details of the situation. Example: instead of answering every phone call all day, change it to you calling him once a day and finding out what he needs. Then decide what's important to address, how, and when. Let his calls go to voice-mail at the other times.

Here's the thing. You're going to feel awful and guilty and like a jerk. But those guilt feelings are what have landed you in this impossible situation. Those guilt feelings are not your friend, and you'll need to find strength and presence of mind to push them back while you put a new approach into place. Expect it to be hard, but it's hard *now* - so what version of hard do you choose?

It might help to remember your highest priority: your children. They need you to be present and healthy. That's job one.
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No, please don't get involved. This will only become more and more responsibility. Did he help your grandfather or just someone living with GPa. Maybe it was really GPa helping him.

I suggest ASAP you call Adult Protection Services. Just tell them u have allowed him to stay because of his friendship to GPa but you are finding he needs more help than you, with your own health problems and family, r able to give. If you know his relatives names and info, give it to them. No, they don't have to step up but APS will need to know that.

Here's how I feel about any situation like this, you find them the resources, its up to them to take advantage of them. Your responsibility is to your family.

You have to set boundries in the meantime. Use the virus as an excuse. Tell him everyone is in lockdown. You can't be running errands all over and bring the virus back to ur kids. Tell him to make a list of what he needs. And when and if you r out, you will pick them up. You may want to mention that running errands for him cannot be forever. You have kids that you need to do things for. Suggest he call his daughter.
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Thank you for helping for such a long time. It is time for you to concentrate on yourself and your children. I put his children on notice, that you have been glad to be of help but effective (like 30 days) you will no longer be available to assist. Call local social services and notify them you will not be able to assist so they can get in touch his children.

We have a few friends who help us from time to time and we are so very grateful. We also know that we don't ask them to do anything very often as we don't want to take advantage of their kindness. However, I'm appreciative so I don't have to pay someone as I am saving as much as possible to pay for services and help down the road. So....you have been a great role model for your children and now you must move over and let others do what you've been doing. Oh Yeah! No guilt.

We are in people's lives for a time and that is good. Seasons of our lives change and yours is to be a father. Bless you for your kindness.
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"...At what point is enough enough?..." How about yesterday? You have responsibilities. What toll is this taking on your children? Your first responsibility is to your children!

"...I am trying to figure out how to set up contingencies so he'll be alright, then walk away..."

"...we are in an area where he doesn't know anyone, there's no pubic transportation, there's no markets within walking distance...It's pretty much the middle of nowhere..."

You are not a social worker. Call the county and report him as a "vulnerable elder" and give them his address. Then call him and tell him that you won't be around for a while. He should understand. If he doesn't, that's on him not you.
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Thank you for caring for this guy who obviously needs help. You need to let others care for him. It would be wonderful if his family cared for him, but there is no guarantee that any of them would step up. I agree with other posters that you need to contact local authorities to step in.
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I'm thinking even though you are reluctant to do this, it is time to contact the area agency on Aging to explain the situation and to determine if he is eligible for any services. It also is time past time really to set limits on how much assistance that you are able to provide if any given your situation. You say that this gentleman may refuse but you need to explain that he needs to accept it as you cannot continue to help him. I understand that you don't w ish to get legal so how about explaining to the agency the family situation as you know it and let them pursue the situation and determine their involvement. Please try not to feel guilty. After all, for many years, you went above and beyond. Please stay strong. You can check on him if you choose but it is past time for you to take a step back. Good luck.
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Maryjann Apr 27, 2020
Perfectly said. "He may refuse, but you need to explain that he needs to accept it as you cannot continue to help him." Since it sounds like there is probably some dementia involved (can't make boxed mac and cheese), the outside services will have to handle that.
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