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My parents are 62 and 63. Both drank heavily when they were younger and my mom is a recovered alcoholic. Both are obese and their diets are not that great, my mom's is better than my dad's, he eats like a child at times. My dad is a type 2 diabetic and my mom has severe mental illness and just got diagnosed with fatty liver disease. Alzheimer's runs on my mom's side of the family.


I have multiple disabilities that have made it so I can't work anymore (connective tissue disorder and brain damage) and am on SSDI. I make less than $800 a month.


Both of them are stubborn and have to be prodded into going to doctor's appointments. My dad is really bad about it, he almost died several times after ignoring both me and my mom's pleas for him to go to the hospital (food poising leading to dehydration both times). He is also a work-alcoholic and can be a bully at times.


They are both retired military, my mom is 100% disabled. They use the VA system.


We're moving to a large city so I can use public transportation and get services, but I have no clue what to do with them. My dad's side of the family is mostly deceased, the few remaining are not easy people to be around and my mom's side is scattered across a different state and rarely talk to one another.

Just to clarify, RayLin, the original post is by Artzwolf, not me.

Artzwolf, my advice stands that VA may provide help to your parents as well as to you, as a disabled child of veterans, perhaps by providing a care manager for all of you.

I also believe that an attorney who specializes in Elder Law would be able to help your parents set up a trust for your finances, if they have any financial means to do so.
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Reply to Agingmyself
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There is probably nothing you can do. You are suffering from what Dave Ramsey called the Powdered Butt Syndrome. Once the they have powdered your butt they won't listen to you. Concentrate on taking of yourself. Did you say your Mom has dementia? That may mean she legally can't make decisions. You need to see an elder law attorney. I wish you the best in your difficult situation.
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Arztwolf Oct 8, 2018
She doesn't have dementia, but she does have a family history of it. Right now she is on multiple pain killers and some psych drugs that make her forgetful. She has been tested but they found she had normal cognition.
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I imagine you are doubly concerned because your parents are your lifeline, if they don't look after themselves there is no one to look after you, right? Even if there is a miracle and your parents become responsible adults the fact remains that they are older than you and you will need someone else to be your advocate - that is where you should focus your thoughts. Develop a relationship with your case manager and work to figure out how you can survive independent from them and their dysfunction. Who will you trust to be your advocate in the future - friend, cousin, paid professional, other?
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Arztwolf Oct 8, 2018
As of right now I don't have a case manager. The organization that used to help me turned into a "find the disabled employment and nothing else" poorly funded gov agency.

We have no family in this state and I have only one friend, an advocate in the LGBT community, of which I identify as part of, but she is over 70 years old. She also picks me up and takes me to an LGBT support group meeting once a month, when she can.

I'm going to look into an agency I've read about, but have no experience with and that has mixed reviews. I live in a southern state, so services are not that great here.
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It sounds like you must be living with them? Because you said "we're moving". No one can make you be the POA without your consent so you don’t have to handle their finances etc if you don’t want to. You really can’t make them do anything. My only advice would be to sit down and tell them what you’ve told us and ask them who they want to handle their affairs should it come to that. If they just Pooh Pooh you, then you can’t do anything about it. Just make it clear what you are unable to do. Doesn’t sound to me based on your description that they will live very long and luckily you do have the VA system for their care.
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Reply to Harpcat
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In addition to an attorney who specializes in Elder Law, you may want to look into hiring a geriatric care manager for your parents' affairs, and perhaps yours, as well. Since they have VA benefits, that might be something they'd be qualified for.
A good Elder Law attorney would be able to help you find someone to do this, I think.
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Reply to Agingmyself
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If they are unable to take care of themselves and are incompetent, the county may step in.

I know a man who lived in a VA Assisted Living facility. I think there may be a waiting list to get in though. I don't know if they are available for the spouses of the veteran or just the veteran. You can explore benefits for them and you as a disabled child.

I'm going to send you a link by PM. We aren't suppose to post them here. It's for the VA benefits in NC. Not sure which state you are in, but, you can see the type of thing that I'm talking about.
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RayLinStephens Oct 8, 2018
Agingmyself stated that both parents are retired military - so both would be eligible for VA benefits including a VA Assisted Living facility.
Good advice Sunnygirl1.
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One of my main concerns is that I have a diagnosed learning disability and cannot handle finances at all. I need someone to handle them for me, which means there is no way in hell I can handle my parent's.

My mom is a 100% sure that the VA will just put her and my dad in a nursing home when it is time. I have my doubts.


I know I can't change them, but I can't physically take care of them either. That is another fear. I can't lift more than 20lbs and they both weigh over 200! I also cannot drive.
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At 62 and 63, your parents should be responsible for themselves. The chances of anyone else controlling their behaviours to make them healthier, are about nil. This may sound harsh, but move to the city and send them postcards once a week!
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rovana Oct 7, 2018
Margaret, I think you are right on target.  No matter what good advice you might give them, I think they will just go their own way.  Make it very clear to them that you will not be able to help them - that they should talk to the VA now so they can see how the system works. Then take care of yourself.  This may seem offensive, but I don't mean it to be.  The thing is, you want to live.  They may be reaching the point where they don't really care whether they do or not.  Whatever happens, happens.  Sometimes people can come to feel that life is more trouble than it is worth to them.  Just tired and bored with the whole business.  And more than a few people do not want to live into extreme old age.  Ever heard the story about the 64 year old woman who visited her mom in a nursing home.  After she left, she went to the market and bought a carton of cigarettes, started smoking a pack a day.
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Do you think there is any chance that they will show up for a consult with an Elder Law attorney? If they have assets, it might help to get all of their documents signed and a plan for their eventual care, if needed. I don't know much about the VA benefits. Perhaps, someone who does will chime in here.

You might also consult with an Elder Law attorney to see how you inheriting from your parents could affect you long term. If you were to need long term care in a facility, would an inheritance affect that? I'd explore a special needs trust to see if that is an option in your state.

Considering your disabilities, are you considering being their POA and HCPOA? I'd consult with an attorney to see all that is involved. It makes sense, since you are in the same house, but, there is a lot of work involved. I'd give it a lot of thought.
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