Has anyone had to leave husband and kids to care for parent?

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Moving in with dad while husband and son stay at our home.

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I should also clarify that if my mom had a need to recuperate from something temporary, it might have been more reasonable for me to go stay with her. But with dementia and all her other problems together, the care proposition was definitely not temporary. She is in her 15th year of dementia diagnosis and is well beyond anything I can handle in my home or hers.
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My answer is that no, I never considered for a half a moment to leave my home, my husband, my kids, or my job to move in with my mother when she became unsafe on her own. And I would never in a million years expect that from my kids.

My mom needed to be in 24/7 supervision with medical staff, personal attendants, a geriatrician, and a geriatric psych. When she could have used in-home care, she refused it hands down.

If this a care level you want to provide, then you need to acknowledge the consequences of doing that for an unknown period of time on your marriage and relationship with your children. They will be changed by this as much as you will be. I wouldn't expect to walk back in the door some day in the future and expect to be as close as before, or have everybody pick up where you left off. They may have some resentment toward you over this that will be very real and should not be ignored.

In this day & age, we have to all get used to the idea that there will be probably be no inheritance. People live so long now, they have diseases that are monstrously expensive to support, and you are going to private pay until there are no more assets to use for that. This is the way it is. It's their money anyway, so it should be spent on getting them good care in a good safe place.
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Janny57, are you sure you want to immerse yourself two doors down from a relative with whom you have a large conflict? Even if you get along great with Dad, What would it be like living in close proximity with a person you think has stolen from your Dad and who thinks you are only after his money? It already drives you insane that your Dad has contact with her (and apparently still enjoys her company) and you don't even live in the same state. How would it set with you if after dinner he announces he'll walk over and visit for a while? She is his daughter-in-law, the mother of his grandkids. He gets to decide to what extent he wants her in his life. All this animosity because she owes him $200? Wow. This is not a healthy relationship. If you do move, be prepared for friction in this area.

If you move in, draw up a personal care agreement. Spell out what tasks you are responsible for and what your compensation is. At some point you may want to move out, or Dad's needs may become too much for you to meet. Then you will want to ensure that other arrangements are made. You sure aren't going to pack up and leave in the middle of the night, leaving him high and dry.

It really sounds to me that you and SIL may be a bit too focused on the money issues. Many, many elders live so long and develop such expensive medical needs that there really isn't much of an estate left to leave to anybody.

Keep us updated on how this works out.
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Ok. So, I've been reading and reading and reading. I feel like a yo yo in my mind. Yes, we can do this, all of us move. Sell our house and be down there with dad. (which we would benefit greatly from because we are struggling to keep cars running and just live. Dad said we could live there rent free and he'd buy everything. I think he meant food with that comment. Of course, I'd take him up on that deal because I'd be working all day for him cooking, cleaning and stuff around the yard.)
Then I read something that scares me and I'm back to no, I don't want to do it.

Question: I read if you move in with parent and then later move out that it could be construed as "elder abuse". Under what circumstances would that be true. IF we moved in with dad and it was just fighting all the time and we (my husband, I and 17 yr old son) moved out BUT found care for dad, that couldn't be construed as abuse could it? One more consideration for us is this. Don't know if you remember but my SIL was living with dad but we caught her on camera getting into his wallet after he had gone to bed. Well, she and her sisters started telling people (neighbors and niece) that I was going to move in and "throw him into an old folks home and take over and sell everything". (the rich neighbor wanted to buy dad's Kabota tractor) Also, they (the SIL and her sisters) were saying that "I was going to change dad's will and cut them (my 2 nieces and 1 nephew) out of the will and they would get nothing". (Yes, my dad is leaving 1/2 of his estate to these kids who would not turn a tap to help him; they are the takers. I don't have siblings, they both died, but I do have these taker kids). So, knowing THAT what would you do? My dad does not have an abusive personality, even when drinking. He does get upset with me when I try to reason with him about doing things MY way. Which he still wants to be in control. I get that and that is something that I have to learn to handle better. But, I don't want to move in and be accused of elder abuse just because my ex SIL has an ax to grind with me. (even though she is guilty). I did not turn her in to APS because although we know what we saw it isn't not clear as a bell in quality. But she did admit she was getting my dads "keys" at 10:45 pm. Which if she did get his keys she certainly didn't go open anything or start any cars. And she moved just 2 doors up the street. Just peachy. She still has contact with dad, in fact, he goes to her place (she lives with another elderly couple) and visits with her I think because he is lonely. Drives me insane that he has anything to do with her because she borrowed $200 from him and has never repaid it.
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sorry cidux does your father have alz/dementia??? i see your profile says age related decline? caring for an old person whose declining and caring for an alz parent are worlds apart?
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In regards to kazza's response: It CAN work out - and it will get worse. When it gets worse then you deal with that in whatever way you need to. When I started caring for my parents I knew I had to take it "one week at a time". Now, nearly 2 years later, sometimes I have to do "one day at a time". When it's down to "one hour at a time" I guess I'll know I've had it. (No martyrdom here.) You don't have to put your life and happiness in permanent jeopardy. Dad wouldn't want you to. But you can walk away from this knowing you did everything you could to make his last years happy. Just as he did everything he could to make your first years happy.
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I have an appt tomorrow with an atty to see what my options are. Dad is still active and putting him in a home is not something i am willing to do, yet. I realize it wont be easy but i guess i just have to learn the hard way. In the mean time i am getting my ducks in a row for his future care. Thank you for your kind responses. I really appreciate them.
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Can he afford paid live in care? sorry but as good as your intentions are this is not going to work out its going to get worse and he cant be alone anymore. OR al near you? or a NH near you or would him coming to live with you be an option?
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Janny, it sounds like you have decided what you want to do! But, maybe going through all this with us on here helps you see there are other options, so if it does not work out so well, you don't feel like you "have to" keep doing it that way. God speed.
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Carol: You reminded me of other things dad does. He has no smell either and his hearing is getting worse. He has the TV so loud that you end up yelling at each other during commercials. He always turns to me and starts talking. I have to yell back "TURN THE MUTE ON!!!!" gives me a headache.

I would rather watch dad at his house. He has an acre of land that he putters around in and all his stuff is there (tools, workshop, etc.). I have my bedroom and the rest of the house is pretty neat cause I go there every 2 weeks or so to clean up. My house is small and I have no yard which means he would go stir crazy and be hovering around me all day. Plus he'd be miserable too.
Dad doesn't like food throw away either but he doesn't eat the left overs, he'd rather just drink beer than eat.
If you can get your mom to your house and that's better for you I hope it works out. These certainly are difficult times for us caretakers.
Best Wishes.
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