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I am new to caring for my father, and I regret it. He is 91 and he is the same mean man he always was, and it has become worse with age. He only needs light care right now with medication and eating.


I was asked by my siblings to move in and take care of him, in exchange for his house. My husband and sons moved in, and immediately things soured. We were promised we could do whatever we want to fix up the house, but when we brought up painting, my father immediately said NO. My siblings listen to him. The house hasn't been painted in 60 years. This small thing has become a huge argument.


My father has always been a mean, controlling person. It has caused me tremendous anxiety in life, even to the point I've struggled to keep jobs because I can't function. He belittled me most of my life, and still does, even in front of my family. My husband speaks up, but it doesn't matter. My father will say what he wants the next day.


I did this because even though my father was mean, he helped me financially in the past. He was giving us his house because my family has lived in a tiny apartment. Now I am feeling horrible by thinking, "Does my dad even deserve care?" He is vicious.


My father still has his clothes in the bedroom my son's share. He refuses to move his stuff. He has junk in the closet in his room, and won't let us move it to the basement to move his clothes into. My father keeps belonging in mine and my husband's room too. There's no space to keep my father's belongings all over the house, but he refuses to move them downstairs to storage. There are 100 shirts of his in my son's closet alone. He has so much stuff he refuses to even move out of a bedroom we are using.


I regret this every single day for the month we've been here. I miss my peace of mind and privacy. I didn't just give up my life, I gave up my sanity.


My dad threatened to sell the house if we don't listen to him and he will not allow the house to be painted inside. He is very combative and like I said, mean as he ever was, even worse.


I am sorry I did this. I should have known better that he would not change. I've had chest pains like crazy and if it weren't for my calm husband and kids, I would have had a heart attack by now.


I don't know what to do.

Find Care & Housing
Jenny, here is what you can do: stop being a doormat and being manipulated on the "promise" of money/inheritance. Nothing will change until you end this mechanism of control. You are allowing it -- no one is doing it to you. Many a person has become incredibly unhappy chasing the money promise carrot that parents and siblings dangle in front of them.

Here is something else you should know: if there is no will stating that you are the recipient of the house, there is no guarantee you will get it. Not only because of probate or the possible greed of your siblings who may contest it, but because if your father's care eventually requires LTC for which he does not have enough money to pay, then he will require Medicaid (and many elders do require it even when they thought they had enough assets). Often the last asset is the house and this may be required to be sold to pay for his care. If it is not sold then Medicaid will put a lien on the house and when the house is sold the lien will need to be satisfied. You, or any other sibling, may never get the house in the end.

To recap:
1) your father is mean, has always been mean and will continue to be mean to you and your family.
2) even right now you are not allowed to make yourselves at home in his house, and you never will be allowed -- it will only get worse as his dementia increases
3) you have no real control
4) you may never actually get the house, there is no guarantee
5) you volunteered for all the above

Is that enough reasons to move on and make your life (and your family's) better? Will your siblings be upset/angry when you start putting boundaries into place? Of course they will be, they're the ones jerking around and squeezing free care out of a naive, boundry-less sibling so that they can give Mean Daddy free care he doesn't deserve on the hopes that everyone else may get an inheritance.

Tell your siblings you'll be moving out and on. Give them about 3 weeks to get a plan together and get out of there at the deadline. Your immediate family (husband, children) have priority over your father/siblings. Please don't subject them to this arrangement, this disrespect, this chaos, this terrible example of how family treats each other. I'm sorry this is so blunt but it is critical that you understand the downward spiral this arrangement will most likely take, and sooner than you think . I sincerely wish you success in moving out and moving on, and peace in your heart that your own family (and maybe even siblings) will respect you for it.
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Reply to Geaton777
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It's time to move. Get your husband and son together and have them quietly move their stuff out. Get an apartment, get a storage unit if you must live in a tent for a little while, but get out of the house. You are allowing your mean bio dad to mistreat your son. How dare he! Put on your big mama britches and let bio dad keep everything the way he wants. You don't have to put up with it.

Your brother the POA is treating you the same way as Pops, but with more subtlety. He simply will let you know you were stupid to move in when he denies that there was any agreement. I suspect he's protecting the assets by having you as the unpaid caregiver. There probably *is* a will if there's a POA.

There's nothing wrong with saying, "Family, we made a mistake. We have to move out for the sake of our child. We can't live this way so we are moving out on Aug 1." And keep saying it like a broken record. You are worth more than this. Go.
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Reply to surprise
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I think you should make immediate plans to leave with your family.
As Geaton said, there's no guarantee you will even get the house once all is said and done. EVEN if your dad doesn't need a higher level of care, and you never have to sell the house to pay for it (and by the way, that's how it should work - his assets to pay for his care, not just automatically to Medicaid, for which the taxpayers foot the bill), doesn't mean that once he's gone, your siblings won't renege on the deal, want to sell the house and get their "share". If they're not backing you now on an issue as small as painting, what makes you think they will honor their agreement once he's passed?
I'm sorry, it sounds like they have bamboozled you into caregiving with empty future promises.
The ONLY way I would even consider staying on as a caregiver in this instance would be 1) move out with my family and 2) have an ironclad caregiver agreement spelling out a salary for which I am paid RIGHT NOW for taking care of him. Not some vague promise for future compensation that might not even be able to happen.
If your siblings don't agree to this, then it's doubtful they would have honored their promises later.
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Reply to notgoodenough
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Move out. Getting Dad’s house is not worth the stress. And if a dad eventually needs nursing home care, the house likely will have to be sold.

Spring 2018 my Dad asked my son to spend the summer with him at the cottage. Dad is a hoarder and thought my 6 foot tall 200lb son could sleep on a 5 foot long, 18 inch wide cot. In a room hoarded to the ceiling. No room in the closet for his clothes, no dresser drawer either.

Spring 2019, my brother emptied the room, I bought a queen sized bed for my son to use. My brother gave Dad an ultimatum, a proper space for my son, or no summer at the cottage.

Dad did not empty the closet, his Dad’s clothes are in it. Grandpa died over 55 years ago.

For your and your family’s health, you must move out.
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Reply to Tothill
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What are you getting out of the current arrangement? Free rent? Who pays for utilities? Groceries?

As you have noted, there is nothing in writing that you will get the house eventually. Take this to mean that you will not get the house. You are being taken advantage of. Get out and let your siblings deal with your father.
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Reply to CTTN55
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Load up your family and self respect and leave him to your siblings.

No house is worth being treated like a doormat.

There is every indication that they will not honor their verbal promises and what happens if there is a will leaving the house to someone else?

He is showing you by his words and actions that he doesn't want you there. Go!

Edit: I just read your answer to sunnygirl. Your dad should sell his assests and pay for his own care. Medicaid is not so the next generation can receive an inheritance. Trusts are not intended to hide money so a wealthy person can get welfare, they are intended to stop financial exploitation. You have asked for everything that is happening to you and your family is paying the price because you and your siblings are greedy. Sell his assets and get the man a caregiver.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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I agree with what has been said. You are being taken advantage of and you have no guarantee that he will pass away soon and you will get the house. I feel as if you are being used as a cheap alternative to professional caregiving so your brother, the POA, can insure his own monetary inheritance. And exposing your family to this insanity is damaging to your children and husband. Put your foot down with your father and brother. Leave if you are able.
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Reply to Mepowers
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Just move out!! You don’t need this!! He can easily live to 100 years old!! My mother is 96 and my friends father is 98. Move out!! You don’t need his house!!
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Reply to elaine1962
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This is all a "power play." Move Out!!! I know this because I lived it with my mother and I still live with her; I am not sure for how much longer. I wish when sh@t started to hit the fan that I had moved out and now I am stuck!

Just move out and find another way to care for your father. Things will just get worse as he gets older.
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Reply to Shell38314
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Go and remodel your own house. Your siblings can perfectly well arrange the minimal level of in-home support your father needs.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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