What do I do when I've been left to care for my disabled parents making me unable to earn any income or further my education?

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Stepping up and making the choice to care for your parents is an honorable thing to do if it's feasible for all involved. No one is forcing this choice on you. If you need to work and WANT to care for them, I'm sure their SS will cover the cost of a part time STNA. Part time STNAs vary in price but I would look around. You might be able to get your brothers to help while you work. If none of these are options then I would find a nice facility, get them into a hospice program and enjoy the time you have left.

I would also gain the medical POA for both of your parents so while they're in a facility, you have the legal right to make decisions in addition to being their voice and advocate.
As for your education, in this day and time colleges offer 100% of your education online. I would take advantage of it so you have something to fall back on when your parents have gone Home.
Lastly, if you feel that they have been dumped on you then find a nice home for them. It will never get easier being the caregiver. Never.
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DCR, I am sorry you had a bad experience with a rehab place. I can see how that will influence your attitude. But many, many of us on this forum can tell you about the good or even great experiences we've had with nursing homes. Don't judge all of them by one bad experience. Check out very carefully others in the area.

About your brothers -- how did they "leave" your parents' care in your hands? How are they in charge of your decisions? Do they possibly think your parents belong in a care facility and if you don't think so then it's your job to care for them? That happens in some families.

About all those doctor visits -- it must be difficult to transport your father so often, and hard on him I would guess. Can't one of the nurses do the INR tests? We had that done in our home a few times. The nurse called the number into the clinic who made the decision about adjustments to medication if necessary. My husband's geriatrician was very sensitive to how hard it is to bring disabled elders in for appointments.

The kind of help your parents need is readily available in a nursing home. They'd have a clean environment, healthy food, their laundry done, people to talk to, activities to attend, and all their medical needs met onsite. And there would be three shifts of rested, alert people to tend to them.

It sounds like your parents can't afford to have the level of care they need in their home. That is sad but common.
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So, are you now willing to sacrifice your entire future to them? They should be in a nursing home where they can get this care.

What is your plan when they live another 10 years (quite possible) and you then find yourself broke, uneducated, and unemployable? Why is their few years worth the rest of your life?

Get the moved into a home asap, and get on with your life.
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in answer to who left me to care for them my brothers . I had my father in a rehab/nursing facility and he almost died if I left him in that facility he would be dead now they did not care for him as well as private as nurses in home do. the long term plan will reimburse for nurses but not my time.i have tried to leave the care to them but they still need assistance with my mother and doctors appointments my fathers INR levels need to be checked at least twice a week and my mothers dementia needs to be monitored
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DCR, It sounds to me that your folks need 24 hour care -- by professionals. Assess their finances and assets to help determine if they can fund assisted living (if they qualify) or skilled nursing. Are you using the long term care insurance to pay for any current care? Are either of them Veterans? Some folks are horrified by the thought of placing a parent in a facility. Guess what? It will provide them with 24/7 professional care and at some point they will need it regardless of what you do for them now. The two issues that affect them (sadly) will contribute to a continuing decline. Facilities will provide some level of activities that you can't possibly provide. If you have a free moment now (which I doubt) you likely collapse in exhaustion.
As Jeanne suggests, get an assessment and get some help. Your job is to 'get a job or training' and then overlook care to be sure it is right and to visit as a daughter. Depending upon where you live, there will be many choices of facilities. Visit them before making a decision.
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my parents are 77 & 78 moved back to there town to help my father with my mother she has frontal lobe dementia and my father had a massive stroke he is now non-verbal and his whole right side is not functioning my mother can move around but needs assistance with cooking and washing as well as taking care of there finances, my father has long term health insurance. I was working part time and going to school but with all of their healthcare needs I was forced to stop both. They have doctors appointments and healthcare issues constantly effecting any type of job
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Who "left you" to care for them? What are their impairments -- what kind of assistance do they need? How long have then been disabled? How old are they? How old are you? Do you live with them?

I suggest you call their county Social Services and ask for a needs assessment for your parents. Someone will come to their home and evaluate the situation. Be sure you are present when this happens. Parents are known to be reluctant to admit their needs. You can interject, "Yes Mom, you do get your own lunch -- but that is when I make it and leave it in the fridge for you." The person doing the evaluation will know about what kind of help is available from the county and also other resources within the county. Can your parents pay for the help when it is located for them? Or will they need financial assistance? The Social Services person will be able to help with applying for financial aid, if that is appropriate. They will probably suggest Medicaid.

You need to be able to earn your own income and/or further your education. Someday you will retire and you'll need all the social security credits you can earn while you are healthy and fit. If you can make sure your parents are getting the help they need, and continue advocating for them, you don't have to personally provide all the hands-on care yourself.

Provide a little more information about your situation, and others will be able to give more specific suggestions.
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