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My parents have been together for twenty-six years. There is a seventeen year age gap between them. My biological father left around the time I was born, so he raised me as his own since he met my mom when I was 3. I have no biological siblings. My dad had children from a previous marriage, but they are not close with him due to the complications between him and their mother. My dad had always financially supported our family (the 3 of us) my whole life. Occasionally, mom would have a part-time job but eventually both of them became disabled and could no longer work. My mom became addicted to opiates from her back pain (28 pills a day) and resorted to buying and selling pills illegally to meet that quota. We were broke all the time because the income was spent on cigarettes (my mother is a chronic chain smoker) and pills. Around this time, their marriage hit the rocks and my dad started to resent her because she did not want help. Over time, they became more like friends or roommates than husband and wife. Eventually, my mom confessed to her doctor who put her on Suboxone and it has been managing her pain for the last two years. Additionally around the same time, my mom had a midlife crisis. I think she realized in her now semi-sober mind that she was getting older, and saw exactly how much older and sicker he was now in comparison. She was 56 and he was 73 at the time and newly diagnosed with Full Body Inclusive Myositis. Due to odd behavior, I checked her email account to find she was cheating on my dad with some online boyfriend. It was devastating. I confronted her and told her she must tell dad but she dragged her feet. I ended up telling my dad, and as expected, things didn’t go over well. They eventually “agreed to try to make it work” but she ended up leaving one day and went to go see her boyfriend, not telling us she had left. I spent every day with my dad for over a week, who was drinking himself almost to death over all of it. At this point, his disease was beginning to wreak havoc on his body. Everything was hard for him-walking, eating, even daily tasks like brushing his hair. He needed help with everything and was prone to falling. When she got home, she told him she wanted a divorce (which either of them have yet to file for). In despite of that fact, due to financial reasons, they have continued to live together until recently when my nana passed away. Nana left her money in which my mom bought a house 5 hours away to be closer to the boyfriend she met online. She is moving tomorrow. She cares only about starting her new life with him, and doesn't care how this is hurting my dad or I. My mom is paying half of the rent at their current apartment until October when she plans on returning to get the rest of her belongings out of the apartment. She sees this as "helping him" when in reality she is just extremely eager to start her new life. She refuses to help financially with getting my dad a place closer to where I live so I can take care of him. I am a newlywed in my late 20's and a full-time college student with a part time job. I have no idea what resources are out there for someone in his position. He has health insurance, but as far as housing goes I don't know what to do. My husband and I live in a second floor one bedroom apartment one hour away in Santa Cruz. He is in a wheelchair now, therefore he can't do the stairs. I am the part-time assistant manager for the property I live on, which consists of an RV Park and two apartment units. My idea is for my dad to finance a handicap accessible RV in which he can make monthly payments on. The space rent is discounted to 1100 a month, but he can't make both the RV and space rent payments. My husband works full time at a hotel and pays all of our bills, so we are not able to help him financially. Dad is getting worse and I don't know what to do. I can't live with him full-time in San Jose or commute every day. However, he can't live alone with no help!

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1) bless you for being the adult
2) help your dad get his paperwork in order: durable PoA, will, medical directive, etc. (LegalZoom.com is cheap and easy)
3) call social services to get assessed and ask about Medicaid (or whatever the equivalent is in CA). He def needs LTC. Not sure if being still married to your mom will affect his ability to qualify...will they look at her money/assets? Being in a care facility will mean he will get the proper daily care and will be with people all day.
4) do NOT finance anything, do not co-sign anything
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Just checking back here for the OP, Brijn.
I agree that your Dad can no longer live alone, but it is not your role to provide hands on care. It is your role to find care for him with help of others.

If worse comes to worse, and he is alone, you can call APS to go there and make an assessment, once his wife leaves. BTW, it was her job, not yours, to find care.

Are you there? Did she leave today? You must be very busy.
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I got kind of lost in all of that but I do believe that your father and mother are not divorced? I would like to caution you that despite that fact, any money that your MOTHER inherited is not community property, and cannot be accessed for your father's care.
My advice would be to help your father now to sort through what his assets and liabilities are. He is going to have to enter care very soon. You cannot conceivably do your job, be responsible for seeing that both rental space and the mortgage on his trailer are paid, and be responsible for his medical care which is worsening. You mention drink in the mix for both of them. You should be in Al-Anon for yourself for certain. You now have a young marriage to protect and to nurture so that your own life does not mirror a life you were raised in.
Be a support to your Dad where you are able, but do not take over the care of him. You will fail under it, and your marriage may as well. That would be my advice.
I do not know the prognosis for your father, but do know that he is going to need a POA for health care and possibly for financial bills and etc and that should be taken care of now with an elder law attorney to draw the paperwork appointing you. You should then speak with his doctor re palliative care, or whatever your Dad wants now he can still make these decisions, and discuss hospice as well.
Again, try to help but do not take on more responsibility than you can handle. I am doing only the financial POA and medical POA for my brother, and it is a LOT. I am not doing his hands on care which would tip it, for me, into impossible. This is a long slide down, there is no upside and no relief coming, and things will become worse, not better. If there is drinking in the mix things will become impossible.
Your Mom is out of the picture. She will not be back. She never wanted to be there for a long time, and now she has the means to escape and is gone. It is not worth considering her in the mix.
I believe that you said that you Dad has absolutely NOTHING to do with his children, his first family? I do think he may still want to notify and connect with them. And of course he may not. I doubt they will want to be of any help as they likely feel as abandoned as your Dad now feels.
So sorry for all the pain. I am 76. In my mind your first obligation is now to yourself and to your young marriage and your husband. I hope he is a support to you. I wish you the best and hope you will update us. Make use of any system you can think of and it is now time for you and your father to talk HONESTLY and FRANKLY with everything up front. If he cannot do that, then it may be time for you to walk away. Because you will be unable to do anything.
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First-bluntly put get the idea of your dad financing anything out of your head. If he can’t afford the RV payment and the space rental, I don’t understand why that would even be an idea at this point. Especially when you cannot afford to provide financial assistance.

What you need to do is contact the department of social services in your dads county (not sure if he is Santa Cruz county too?). They are the ones who will determine what type of assistance he qualifies for. For someone who is going to get progressively worse as time goes on, he needs to be placed in long term care. You alone cannot be his sole caregiver, not if you are a student, employed and also have a husband. It isn’t fair to you. If your dad finances an RV and rents a space and he cannot afford those costs, how would he pay caregivers? If he can get financing on an RV, his income is definitely over the limit for medi-cal. Your dad is already in his 70s so I’m not sure why it was said that he might qualify for Medicare now—he already qualifies and should be on it. Medicare won’t pay for long term care or even assisted living. But medi-cal will. He may be able to get a medi-cal waiver that will help pay for assisted living. The department of social services can help you with this.
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Hi Brijn,
Read the whole thing.
So sorry that you grew up in an alcoholic home.
So you are going to need to get yourself to a few Alanon meetings where you might discover how to cope or detach from the family dysfunction.

That would he first, helping yourself.

Next, get that assessment for your Dad, and consider carefully his care needs.
He might need placement in a facility, and that may be good nearer to you. He might qualify for Medicare + Medi-Cal now. (Known as Medicaid in other states.)
Your idea of the RV park is sweet, but not realistic for his care needs. You might lose your job if you brought him in and he was going to drink himself to death.

Then, say goodbye to your Mom. Detach with love. You can ask about how to do that on this forum, or Google it.

You have come to the right place, where people will also care about YOU.
You are so young for this burden, but you can get through this and still have a great life, imo.
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There are some Californians on the forum who can explain MediCal. This is a state program that will help pay for Dads care for a LTC facility. His SS and any pension will be used to offset his care. From the way you describe his desease, this is where he needs to be. You cannot provide him with 24/7 care and that looks like what he needs, especially in the future. Look into LTCs near you. They will provide all Dads needs. All u do is visit.

Caregiving puts stress on marriages. A new one like yours, more so. Please don't think you can do this alone. Like suggested call Office of Aging or APS.
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Contact your local Section 8 housing office. There should be a places available on that program, which is for low income people, being in a wheelchair/handicapped should help get him in one. The RV park idea is not a good one, the rent is too high for him. Also check into Medicaid, if he qualifies he may be able to get into a AL facility.
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worriedinCali Jul 14, 2019
He needs LTC. Not subsidized housing. And newsfeed in the OPs area and most of the state, there are years long waitlists for section 8. It takes years just to get on a waitlist and years to get a section 8 waiver.
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Wow, sounds like your mom leaving your dad will ultimately be best for him, not meaning to make assumptions about your family, just sounds like she’s been a drain on him for years and isn’t going to change or care. The suggestion already made for a needs assessment is a good one, he needs a series of services and help that you’re not capable of providing. He is blessed that you care and will be available to oversee the care he receives
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I second the previous answer. Please reconsider his move into your RV park, for a number of reasons. You’ve already realized that he cannot cover the rental payment...do you expect you and your husband to make up the difference? Probably not a sustainable idea for newlyweds starting out with their own bills. When his needs get more than he can manage on his own, will you be expected to take care of him? Again, think long and hard about this. This forum is full of kids just starting out who have unwittingly taken on the role of caregiver, get in way over their heads, and cannot escape it.

Please don’t feel guilty about any of this. You are doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing at your age, school, work, starting a family. You can however be the best advocate for your Dad that you can be. Call your agency of aging. Call his doctor and ask for their long term assessment. and help. Made sure they understand he can’t live alone anymore and can’t live with you and he needs help. Get on his Hippa forms if you aren’t already. Also if he is still deemed competent I would try to be assigned his POA, as it will make paperwork/bills/applications much easier for you. If he cannot perform the tasks of daily living without assistance, he may be best served in a long term care facility. You could start to look into ones near your home where you can visit frequently and where he would have professionals to look after his needs. Hopefully more people familiar with services available in California will chime in.
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Look for your Area Agency on Aging. Have them assess your dad for services. Tell them your mom has abandoned your dad and he needs a place to live. That he is a vulnerable elder. They may ask you to call APS. There is no benefit to him or you to delay this call. Don’t move him in where you work. It won’t be the right choice long term or even short term. Your best efforts for him will be to advocate for him wherever he is placed. Good luck and let us know how you are doing.
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