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When my Father started failing in Assisted Living and they weren't taking good care of him, I sold my house and bought a condo with a first floor master suite for him and my room/bath is upstairs. It is just him and I. I quit my job and I provide all his care, cook all his meals, clean after him, coordinate doctors and take him to his appointments, basically I do everything for him.


I split all bills 50/50 and since I am unemployed now, I use his money to pay half. I don't receive anything for the care I give him, just money for mortgage, utilities, food, etc. I have my savings for my half.


It is working fine except I have received comments from people who are interested in his money. They want to know where it is going. Why do I charge him to live here? They say, he is my father, shouldn't I allow him to live for free?


I feel he is already getting free care which takes up my entire life. The utilities are much higher than they were when I lived alone. He wants the heat high, runs a heater in his room constantly, tons of laundry every day switching out his bedding, etc.


Am I wrong for charging him half? He is getting great care, he is with family and it allows me to not work and be here for him. Otherwise I would have to work and we would pay all his money for caregivers.


Any advice would be appreciated.

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Here is one thing to think about in quitting work to care for an aging parent.... on average if a working person quits work he/she will lose over the years between $285,000 and $325,000 which includes loss of salary, plus net worth loss of the health insurance, loss of money being put into social security/ Medicare, loss of other benefits such as matching 401(k), profit sharing, etc. [source: Reuters 5/30/12]
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browncoyne61 Dec 9, 2019
Thank you, good to know.
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I commend you for being caring and loyal to your dad. It's a relationship to treasure.

BUT, you are being unfair to yourself. It's good that Dad is paying for half of the house bills but that isn't the whole picture. Your time as a caregiver has value!!! Assuming your dad has the funds, you should absolutely be paid for your time.

Did your sisters grumble about where the money was going when Dad was in AL? Bet that was a lot more expensive than living with you AND paying for your caregiving time.

You wrote that you have a home health aide starting this week. Do you expect to pay that person? Of course, you do. What that person provides has value. Just as what you provide has value.

I get that you are protecting Dad's nest egg. But, you are pulling money from your savings to pay for your part. You are essentially giving your hard earned savings to your sisters when they receive 2/3s of Dad's estate that you have preserved at your own expense. And, they get to live their lives while you are caring for Dad? How is that fair to you? You should be paid as his caregiver and pay your half from that money.

Personally, I think that your sisters are being greedy and that their opinions should be given the same consideration as the help they are providing.

If this sounds harsh, I apologize. We cared for my MIL in similar circumstances. I didn't realize at the time how much it would cost us in family life and finances. We didn't have a caregiver contract in place and that was a mistake. I do believe that "family takes care of family" but didn't realize that it's a two way street. In the end, her estate was divided equally between her three kids (two who did little to care for her), regardless of what it cost us to preserve her money.

Please be smarter than we were and protect yourself now and for your future.
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browncoyne61 Dec 9, 2019
Thank you. Very helpful. It helps to hear from those who have gone through this. Family should help family, it would make this process much easier. But right now, I could care less if I ever see the rest of my family ever again. Probably once my father has passed I probably won't. I am going to add to our Patient Care Plan. I'm sure there will be a fight later when there is no money left but at least it will be in writing and I won't be left with nothing.
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I would get paid for the care provided. The idea that any money left gets split 3 ways is greedy.

You are forfeiting your future to ensure that he is receiving good care, that entitles you to get paid for your efforts now and then if there is any money left they will get their 3rd.

Caring for an aged parent is serious work and his money is for his care, don't minimize your efforts. He should be paying rent and half the living expenses, as well as paying you. It is only fair.
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browncoyne61 Dec 9, 2019
Thank you, I appreciate the advice.
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No, but it sounds like you are digging yourself into poverty and no longer able to contribute to social security nor any retirement investments of your own unless of course you are incredibly rich.

If you don't mind me asking, why is he not in a nursing home after being in assisted living wasn't able to support him?
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browncoyne61 Dec 9, 2019
He was able to pay when he was in assisted living because he had savings. It was private pay only. During the time that he was there, one sister borrowed money (now insists she didn't but I have the many IOU's that she wrote and signed) and her son, who is a herion addict, stole over $40,000 from his accounts. Now I am trying to work with medicaid to get him into a nursing home but with the mess that his money is and I have no way to account for what is missing, it is taking time to straighten out. I committed to straightening everything out and giving him a year to live with me and hope that we can straighten it out during that time and then get him into a nursing home. He was doing really bad but since he has been with me he seems much better. It's all such a mess it's a little overwhelming and then my sisters are always making things worse with their attitudes. It will be hard but hopefully when the year is up, the money situation will be cleaned up and we can get him on medicaid and into a nursing home. That is my hope. Right now, I'm just hating family.
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I had no idea how much it cost to try to help or care for someone even when you think it wont. I posted here for the first time yesterday in frustration as to my situation with my mom.

I think you did an amazing thing to be there for your father and half of the bills is a small amt for everything you do .


You are right to tell your sisters they can take him lol I had no idea what I was getting into
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browncoyne61 Dec 9, 2019
I understand. I didn't realize how bad it was really going to get. He is getting easier to manage but everything else is a mess. I have told my sisters to feel free to take him. Their excuse is always that they have too many stairs and he can't climb them.
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Has your Father made you his POA? He is living with you. If not, then he should. At that point this is utterly no business of the Sisters unless they wish to buy you out and move in with Dad so you can get on with a real life.
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browncoyne61 Dec 4, 2019
Yes I have been his POA for several years now. I have suggested they can take him if they think I am handling things improperly. That usually shuts them up for a little while. I just wish they could see all I do for him and be more appreciative and supportive. I have been staying away from them because their negativity gets to me after a while.
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Who are these people? First of all, your life is your business. Why are they discussing your finances? Ask them if they are interested in paying paying your bills. If they aren’t they have no right to discuss your living expenses with you.

Is he a veteran who served during war time? He may qualify for aid and assistance and receive benefits to pay a caregiver. You could then become paid for your help.

Have you contacted Council on Aging to see if he qualifies for help? There is usually a wait list. So call and place his name on the list. They will assess if he qualifies for someone to tidy up, prepare light meals, meals on wheels delivery, help bath him, sit with him for a few hours a month, transportation to and from doctors, and so forth.
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browncoyne61 Dec 2, 2019
Thank you. These people are my sisters. They are always telling me I am wrong but I did not feel I was. Just needed some outside reassurance and will let them read this. Thanks for the suggestions.
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Who is asking you about his money and your living arrangements? It should be nobody else's business. It is certainly not wrong of you to have him pay his share of living expenses. I'm curious who the people are that are sticking their nose in.
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browncoyne61 Dec 2, 2019
It is my sisters who neither will help take care of him, even for just a few hours. One sister had taken thousands of dollars from him while he was in AL and the other sister is already planning how to spend whatever is left once he is gone. They think once he is gone everything should be split 3 ways so of course don't want me spending any of it, just saving it for them.
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Ignore those comments, you are more than generous. If you ever need to get him on Medicaid, you need a caregiver agreement, notarized, in effect before any services (so you could start now as of December 2, 2019).   Do not eat up all your savings, start looking for help for him, or be ready to go on Medicaid.  Is he a veteran.
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I'm sorry to say it's a just a fact of life that a lot of people (particularly siblings who have never been care givers) think you should not only dedicate your life to helping someone else, you should also pay for the privilege. They often have no idea the time and effort required or the cost of in home care giving services.

I see no problem with your father paying his way or half of the household expenses as I would expect from any adult sharing the household on a continuing basis. That's not going to be a problem when/if your father later needs to qualify for Medicaid, provided you can document the expenses. His money could also be used to hire in home care hours to provide you with some respite time too. Again document, document, document. If your father is still competent, it would be a very good idea to get a care giver agreement in place. If he's no longer competent, just make sure you document and keep receipts.
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browncoyne61 Dec 2, 2019
Thank you for giving me some reassurance. I do have a Care Agreement which lists out all what is paid for and how much and part of that is an amount for outside care givers when needed which will be paid for with his money.
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