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Although my mother seems to only be in stage 5 of Alzheimer's, I am already questioning my life and what I got myself into. I read others questions and comments, and most seem to feel like it's their place to do this, and seems content to take care of family members.

My mother and I were never close and I know the only reason she's here is because I am her last resort, there is no where else to go except a care facility. I know in my heart she isn't far enough to put in a care facility, but I am resentful I'm doing this for her. It's only guilt and not a deep love that I'm trying to do this. Don't get me wrong, I treat her good, But I'm not happy. I get no help from other family members, she went there first and her behavior was bad enough that they won't help. My adult children don't really know her. Mom was never a family person and didn't pay much attention to us.

I had just retired and had a life when she showed up in my life. She was on the run and a real drama queen, always a victim and always complaining people mistreat her and people are trying to steal and hurt her. Her lies and fantasies are/were constant. She had turned my life upside down.
Since she made this her last stop and not her first choice, she burned bridges everywhere else. I feel cheated. If the problem were mine and I had gone to her, she would have not taken me in and I know that.

Now, I have a small SS check, and I would be doing something part-time if she wasn't here. I quit my small job when she got here. Deep in my heart feel like it's been ok for her to do things for me financially since I'm available to her 24/7 for the past two years. Now I'm hearing that I wasn't allowed to do that, that I might have to pay money back if she ever goes on Medicaid. What? How would I have ever though that it might be illegal to take help from my mother when I'm helping her. That's just crazy. I had no clue, Now I might be in trouble for helping my wayward mother. When my mother showed up on my doorstep, it never occurred to me I might need a lawyer and I could be in trouble. I didn't want to take her in, but I felt obligated and guilty knowing she had no where to go. At first I believed her stories and felt sorry for her that no one wanted to take care of her.

Now what.

I know you're going to tell me it's time to go see a lawyer. I've already counseled with two. They seen to be asking enough questions that it's going to open a can of worms for me. I know it will push me in a direction I can't handle. I'm just an ignorant, out of touch simple person that was a loner, and unaware of what life could hand me.

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You can be paid for caregiving. You have to draw up a caregiving contract that says how much you'll be paid and what services it covers. You may want to talk to someone who knows more than I do about what needs to be in the agreement to make sure it is acceptable. But yes, you can be paid a reasonable amount for your services for your mother.
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ok jesse, I get that she can pay for her existence paying for rent, utilities, automobile upkeep, and food but with me being her daughter that's where it ends? If I were a stranger she would be paying me hourly. I don't expect that, but I've dedicated 24/7. I do yard work, clean up behind her, laundry, cook 2 meals a day, shop, chauffer, pay bills, make doctors appointments and take her there, all of it. Right now she's cleaning herself and dressing herself, but that will soon change. I can't get a job unless I pay someone to be with her, and they'll make more than I will on my job. That doesn't make sense to me. She helped me a lot financially, and I didn't mind doing this for her until I find out I may have to pay it back. Now I want to throw in the towel.
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Hi Graciesgirl, I'm sorry you're in this situation. Having to take care of a mother who isn't a sympathetic person in your life and now worrying about money. It sounds to me like you got scared with the attorneys and stopped the process, rather than understanding the whole picture. My advice would be to get all of the information you can, so then at least you know what you're facing, whether your mom stays with you or goes to a facility. I'm not in your situation, so I'm not up on all of the Medicaid look-back provisions. But if it's worrying you (and it clearly is), then get the info so you can figure out your next steps. Ignoring it won't make it go away, it will just add more *hidden* stress to your already stressful life.
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Hi, graciesgirl. Many of us are in the same last-resort boat. It can be hard to care for someone and live with them when you are close to them. It can be even harder when you're not. We just do what we feel we should and take it a day at a time. You're concerned about money she has contributed. You don't mention how much money it was. Your mother is expected to use her money to cover her living expenses, so if she is giving you money to help pay for things like rent, utilities, automobile upkeep, and food, that is acceptable. Just keep records of what money was paid and for what reason. Gifts of money or property for purposes other than your mother's care would be what gives trouble if she has to apply for Medicaid. Keeping good records is important so you'll be able to account for the money.

I wish this could be easier. The days of the Waltons are gone, if they ever existed. Often now it is just an awkward alliance between a parent and one caregiving child.
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