I have given my all for 5+ years in order to keep my mother in her home, at the expense of my business, my life, and my friendships. What can I do to make sure that I am better compensated at the end? - AgingCare.com

I have given my all for 5+ years in order to keep my mother in her home, at the expense of my business, my life, and my friendships. What can I do to make sure that I am better compensated at the end?

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I have POA, am successor trustee of living trust, unpaid caregiver for Mom for 5+ years, and feel cheated by will. My mother is in the middle stages of Alzheimer's. I am 37. I have given my all for 5+ years in order to keep my mother in her home, at the expense of my business, my life, and my friendships. I live with her in order to care for her 24/7, with exception of a break (thanks to a sister) every 2 or 3 days to tend to the house, yard, and go grocery shopping. I have three other siblings that do diddly squat, never call, come over once in a blue moon for maybe 1/2 hour, yet act like they are just waiting for pennies from heaven to fall. Is there anything that I can do to make sure that my HELPING sister and I are better compensated in the end (if there is anything) than the "do-nothings" of the family? My finances have been nearly depleted while they live it up on trips around the world. Is there anything I can do?

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Well, Joanne, you can take your mother's S.S. checks and put her in a personal care home, assisted living, using her money ( all legal). Since you have a POA, I don't see why you cannnot do this. You don't say HOW OLD your mother is, but some day, she will pass on. At that point the POA will expire, and her Will's directives will take over. What exactly are you waiting for? Approval from your siblings? Do what you have to do.

p.s. There is no "compensation" for caregiving. You either do it or you don't. Hopefully, the Will will be compensation enough.
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Great article, thanks. I have done it all correctly, phew, according to what it says and we paid over 50k in taxes already, nice huh? But, we did it the right way. The way I look at it, even if it wasnt done right, taking care of your parent free for 10 months is the only penalty and havent we all done that before the contracts were made out, or we are doing now anyway? Thanks very much.
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Moral of the story is... If things are done properly, then I would guess there shouldn't be a problem. :-)
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Horror stories on caregivers contracts? Its care and its a legal contract thru a lawyer, why would there be a problem? I am over the top when it comes to legal issues and went to 4 in total to make sure all is correct. I have an evil sibling and I leave no stones unturned to affect the future fighting with that one! lol.
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debmcd1256 - No, you stated things perfectly, and all are valid points. I think the siblings overall are pretty good at understanding my position, but I'm not so sure about their "significant others" ...and when it comes right down to it in the end, whenever money is involved, some people who are already prone to be selfish are more than likely to get a little crazy.

luvmom - Great point on the old receipts! I noticed some old ones of mine doing the same doggone thing when I was looking through them. Isn't it terrible though? There should be a law demanding that receipts are printed in a way to stand the fade test of time. It's not like they were out in the open, sitting in the sun either.

I didn't know that a caregiver's contract could go towards a medicaid spend-down. I've read some horror stories on-line about that topic, so I hope it turns out well if we have to apply for it. Anyway, that's good to know. Thanks! So far, she makes enough from her SS and pension to pay for all of her living expenses, and minor repairs. There may come a day when a major house expense hits though. Property taxes have been creeping up too. I may have to invest whatever is paid to me in some good paying dividend stocks, in order to help with these things that may arise down the road. Thanks all & God bless!
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debmcd, I understand you meant she could come into issues, I also meant what she could maybe say lol. Joanne1234, your caregivers contract goes towards a medicaid spend-down and all you buy for her like diapers, clothes, tv, recliners, etc. Just keep it all recorded with all slips. Those receipts fade over time, so I print and keep the bank records monthly also. Isnt this a great site for us all! Pats on the back to all who read this.
Luvmom
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Just to clarify, I hope my post was not misunderstood. I completely support caregivers being given fair monetary compensation when it is appropriate (which it certainly sounds like it is in this case and most cases). I was commenting on some of the problems she might expect from siblings and to be prepared. From this site it would seem that siblings supporting financial reimbursement are rare. What I find even more surprising is the number of elders who don't make reimbursement to family members who provide care to keep them out of a nursing home. Joanne, I hope you find a good attorney who helps.
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Correction... Medicaid, not Medicare.
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I can't thank all of you enough for your thoughtful comments. yellowfeever, I can soooooo relate to everything you are going through. Do what you feel you need to do as well. You are the ONLY one who knows how much you can take, and are an amazing person to put up with as much as you have. Yes, we never see our caregiving for a parent as turning into the life changing job that it morphs into in the beginning, and a very misunderstood job at that! It is a long, HARD road for all concerned.

I do realize though, that there may come a point in time (to answer cmagnum) where Medicaid will need to take over and take care of Mom long term (hopefully short term) nursing home needs. Of course, Medicaid will see what I am being paid (once I look into that) as being gifts, meaning that Mom will be inelligible for Medicaid until the amount of those "gifts" are paid for her nursing home care when the time comes. As I understand it, they can also put a lien on the house, but can't collect on it because I'm living here, that is, UNTIL I sell the home or move out later on. When I see the elder lawyer, I will probably need to discuss a "Life Estate", which keeps the state's hands off of the house. No, she doesn't have long term care insurance, and I never made any promises. I should also clarify though that I gave up MOST of my business, but not all. I am currently able to pay for my personal needs such as groceries and such out of what little I am still able to bring in. It all really boils down to how much the only helping sister and I can take, and how bad Mom gets. The longer that we can keep her out of a long-term nursing home with Medicare getting involved, the better. I may need to move in with sister (the one who helps me with Mom) after all is over with until I can get back on my feet. Hopefully, my health will still be good by that point, since all of this has really taken a toll on me, especially with having to help Mom with bathroom issues all throughout the night when she tends to be more uncooperative. That's about all I can hope for at the moment in the long run.

Luvmom - I completely agree with you, and will plan on seeing an elder attorney as soon as I can. I have kept very good records concerning all that my one sister and I have done for my mother and her home.

LillyLu - Please post your question again as a new question to the main part of the message board here: https://www.agingcare.com/Community . Maybe more people will see it that way and be able to help. May God help you with what you are going through, dear. It sounds like a very tough time for you.
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Luvmom, you are right on with your last comment!!!
My day of reckoning was when I was operated on and was supposed to bedrest. I had throat surgery and wasn't supposed to talk!Both siblings knew of my surgery but none lended a hand. I even asked. I was shot down, they were too busy. So, I managed to take care of mom, straining to talk and dealing with pain from not taking pain meds(I was afraid I would fall asleep and she would wander away or get hurt) I set myself up for a longer recovery period cause I couldn't rest! Well that was the wake up call that I needed. I did need compensated for caring for mom. Thats basically when siblings and I had our "outs". I had every right to be peed off. They only cared when I spent "moms" money to fix up house. Siblings have tried there darnest to get me in trouble with threats and trying to turn me into protective services. But I keep track of everything! So nothing they can do!!
I sometimes look in the mirror and think to myself, who am I??? The person I was and who I am now are so different. My marriage is barely surviving. I have no friends no family, just me mom and hubby and kids. My hubby and I enjoyed doing things. We no longer have that extra money or the time away from mom. Yeah, I do get a little respite from mom once in a while at local PCH. However, when she goes there I usually have a full plate of errands, housework. I never get that "ME" time I used to have. My kids are starting to act out(especially the teenager). Our kids want to spend more time at there "other" parents homes more than ours. I don't blame them. We don't do anything together anymore. I have my mom my #1 priority above all.
Caregiving is one of the hardest jobs out there. I thought when I first started looking after mom it was going to be just like anyother home health job I did!!! Boy, was I in for a surprize!!! There is no 9-5 shift with weekends and holidays off!! Mom needs 24/7 care. No more hanging out and having a few drinks with friends, or going on an all day shopping spree!!!! Caregiving is "priceless" how can one actually put an hourly wage on stress your body takes mentally and physically along with the caregiving??
I don't care at this point was others think of me, especially siblings. I know what goes on here in this home. I only answer to god if my intentions are not in the purest form taking care of mom. I enjoy spending those good days with mom, those are memories I will always remember. My siblings are the ones missing out on mom.
Joanne you do what you feel in your heart you need to do!!!! Don't worry about others!! Remember if they were in your shoes they would probably want the same thing about compensating. You need to pat yourself on the back for the sacrifice you made to be selfless enough to drop everything in your life for your mom. Your a good person!! Hang in there!
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