I'm only 16 and I have to make a decision soon about whether I want to leave my house and travel to DC to take care of my dad, please help?

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I'm only 16 and im currently on summer vacation and just today I got woke up by my mother bombarding me with questions about my brother and my dad. She was asking me if I had told my brother our address because I live with my submissve mother and atrocious stepdad. A little backstory my brother got deported a long time ago for misbehaving and since he was born within Africa he got in trouble so many times that he got deported. My dad on the other hand left to Ghana, Africa about 3 years ago after he got injured on the job and this is because he already had a house up there and it would be easier for him to live there. So I only talk to my brother and dad on the phone and there was nothing about the conversations we had that would of led me to believe I would actually have to TAKE CARE of him my impression was that I would be able to finally see him and visit him again after these 3 years that felt so long. So back to my mother asking me these questions I was so confused and I had forgotten I had given my brother my address and now when I think about it I think he led me to believe that he would be sending me something from ghana... but now it looks like they're trying to send someone to come get me in order to drive to D.C where my dad will be waiting and wanting me to take care of him. My mom is telling me that I could either go for an undecided amount of time (most likely 2 months) or lie and pretend as if I've already planned to vacation in Canada with my cousins. I really do feel so guilty and I've already been through enough s**t with my stepdad, who by is butting in and trying to add onto my guilt pretending like he cares even though he's tried to get rid of me before. I really need help and I haven't stopped researching, crying or stressing since this morning. and btw I was informed that it would take 3 months before my dad could get professional help because of medicare and since my brother is still deported and the rest of my dads family has bailed me.. a 16 year old with no professional experience would be left to care for my dad... even though my dads own sister is a registered live in nurse who owns her own nursing home.

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YolandaA, you are a minor, thus you shouldn't be doing the work of a professional caregiver.

Please note that Medicare doesn't pay for caregiving help at home.  www.medicare.gov/coverage/home-health-services.html
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Reply to freqflyer
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Yolanda, I just caught that neither you or your mom/SF know WHO your dad is living with? This sounds so unsafe on so many levels.. who knows what situation you are walking into. With strangers, at 16.. Just don't...
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Reply to pamzimmrrt
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Yolanda, thank you so much for your update. It is always so good whenever someone has an issue, and we all find out what has happened.

Come back to the forum any time you have a question :)
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Reply to freqflyer
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Yolanda, what is your immigration status?

If you are here legally, I would advise you to call Child Protective Services in the DC area. What your family is attempting is a disgrace.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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You should ask your questions to child and family services where you live now. The process involves someone coming to your house to ask your family questions about their plans. Is this behavior from your cultural background about some sort of family honor that takes precedence over your well being? You are still considered a minor. What you should not be at age 16 is a slave to your family at the expense of your being educated. Maybe they can offer alternatives.  Social Services in Tax should be looking at your dad if he has dementia as compared to just being homeless
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Reply to MACinCT
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YolandaA . Don't do it. As freqflyer stated you're a minor not a professional care giver.
You have an opportunity here to complete an education and there has never been a
better time than now for this. If you are low in funds for school look for a counselor
either at high school or at non profit organization geared towards helping high school
students. Trust me, there' s a lot of help out there.

You're not supposed to be care taking but completing your education. I'm afraid
many families try and trap their children, especially daughters into becoming personal
servants. Sometimes for life. Often there are promises of payments to come that
never materialize. Either because they were never there or because they end up being
spent for parent's care.

Unless you're dying to make a career of care giving with the elderly, a low paying
back breaking profession, you're better off getting a career and letting them sort
out their own care with agencies. Catholic Social Services in the DC area would be
a good place to start.

I'd make yourself scare and start your life. You only need a GED to get into college.
Sometimes it makes more sense to go on to college and gain your independence.

Good luck ((((hugs))))
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Reply to bettina
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Thank You Everyone today I just found out that my dad will infact be staying in Ghana So he won't be traveling to D.C, I do not know the whole story behind him not being abke to travel but I am thankful because he can continue getting the care and professional help he needs.. Unfortunately my mom did not tell me this immediately because i only found out today after I kept insisting that I needed to call my brother and father to make sure that they would keep put because I'm not qualified... I am really thankful for all the help everyone that commented left because the stress was really wearing on me and the only positives about the situation was possibly getting to see my dad again and going back to live in D.C away from my mother and stepfather.
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Reply to YolandaA
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BarbBrooklyn yes I am here legally and yea it's really disappointing that everyone is trying to guilt me into going.
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Reply to YolandaA
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Yolanda, you're 16. NO WAY should your family be pressuring you to stop your schooling, leave your life, and be a full-time caregiver. None. Bluntly, your father's care is NOT your responsibility. As a minor, your sole responsibilities are to yourself, your education, and preparing for your future.

Your information states your father's issue is mobility. That tells me he has his mental faculties. Frankly, it seems to me your family is pressuring you because that's the easy solution for everyone but you.

Yolanda, should your family continue to pressure you, immediately contact child protective services in your area (I'm not sure where you are) and ask for help for yourself and for protection from being forced into this situation.

Please let us know how you're doing. We care about you.
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Reply to MountainMoose
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YolandaA Your impulse to look out for your father's well being is an honorable one.
You are to be commended for that. Some of the strong reactions you're encountering
come from those of us who gave of our help in a crisis, and ended care taking a
demanding guilt tripping parent and/or family for years. For years and years. A lot
of us have lost our health, our job security, our friends, even our families through
divorce and estrangement. Care taking even for adults is often too much for us
physically, financially and emotionally. Many ill or otherwise disable parents ironically
end up outliving their adult children who succumb to the stress of the relentless physical
labor required.

For instance, at a facility or with a qualified care agency, your father might be able to
qualify for a lift assist (you can google Hoyer lift for one example). These help the
care giver lift someone safely and these require training to use. They also require a lot
of time as it's a slow process. Agency care givers are paid $12.00-$25.00/hr. Sometimes
more. They have mandatory breaks and in many states are not allowed to work over
8 hours a day or 40 hours a week without being paid overtime. Most family care givers
are unpaid and also often do not have any respite. In past times, families lived together
and were able to help with a disabled adult. Now often it is just one person or a couple
doing everything.

To help your father, I would contact agencies on his behalf so that he can obtain help
There are medical equipment donation groups in many large cities that will loan necessary equipment out at no or low cost. There are agency care givers. Meal on wheels. Again Catholic social services would be a good place to start. Help get him set up to have help and be independent himself. It will be the best thing for everyone involved.

Best of luck!!! So glad to hear your mom has created a college fund for you!!! Enjoy
your education :)
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