My father has been homeless for several years. He’s had odd jobs here and there but is now unable to work due to dementia. What do we do? - AgingCare.com

My father has been homeless for several years. He’s had odd jobs here and there but is now unable to work due to dementia. What do we do?

Follow
Share

He has no insurance. He has no way of paying for a nursing home or even to see a doctor. My brother and I cannot care for him as we are financially unable. What do we do? He’s only 58. Dementia is likely but has not been diagnosed. He has a history of heavy drinking.

57

Answers

Show:
Fear not! No one will get into any trouble. We don't live under dictatorship in this country. The government can not tell us we have to care for other people. No way. Just like he can choose to be homeless, you can choose not to help.

However, you are helping.,.you are calling for help now. That's the best you can do. The reality is none of you, family nor friends, has the means or ablity to assume his care.

Don't let that stop you from calling. That would be selfish. It would mean your concern for yourself is greater then your concern for him.

No one will fault you nor judge you, for letting him do his own thing for all these years. Again, he has the right to make bad life choices.

Make the call, you will sleep so much better.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Pepsee
Report

Call Adult Protective Services in your city and tell them you know of someone at risk. They will be able to help you. You can also call your local area Agency on Aging to ask for help. You will need to apply for Medicaid for him. If you know of his whereabouts, you can wait until he passes out drunk and then call 911. If you can’t afford to or don’t want to apply for guardianship of him, he will become a ward of the state.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Ahmijoy
Report

He was admitted to the hospital. They found high levels of ammonia in his blood. They are trying to find out the cause and get that down. Dementia isn’t being ruled out but the high ammonia levels are certainly causing him to have delirium.
I’m happy he’s safe and getting treated.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Bnb129s
Report

Ammonia most likely caused by drinking. There is liver damage that causes ammonia levels to increase to dangerous levels. Been there. It may eventually cause sepsis and dad may experience septic shock. This could likely put him in a coma that he may not come out of. He is very, very sick. This is where you need to step back and let state take responsibility for him. Do not let them guilt you into anything. Do not sign anything for him that could make you financially responsible.

My friend passed at the age of 54 after years of drinking and alcoholism. 

You need to take care of yourself first.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to gladimhere
Report

The social work department at the hospital can explain.

Neither you nor your brother is legally responsible for your dad. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Most likely, the state will step in and appoint a public guardian. And apply for Medicaid for him. Don't sign yourself as financially responsible for his medical bills.

If the social worker dept tries to guilt you into signing something by saying " you don't want the state to take guardianship, do you?", you say "Yes, that's Exactly what I want to happen". Explain this to your brother as well.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report

Bnb, some hospitals are what's known as Hill Burton Hospitals. They were constructed with funds pursuant to the Hill Burton Act. A condition of accepting those funds was a commitment to providing care for indigent people who couldn't otherwise pay their bills.

In my experience, some religious hospitals are Hill Burton hospitals.

As to the next placement, please heed the advice you've been given and don't participate in arrangements for your mother to care for him. At this stage of his life, with his medical complications from alcoholism, it would be too overwhelming for her, physically, and emotionally.

Your brother thinks your father needs to live with someone; has brother volunteered? If not, ask him why not.

And, in all fairness, it's inappropriate for your mother to have to care for someone who hasn't taken care of himself. I don't mean to be cruel, but that fact has to be considered.

Is your father still drinking, and if so, how would your mother adapt to this? It's unfair to her to burden her with the complications of lifelong self neglect. Her health would soon be at risk as well.

Let the state handle it. From the history you've written, no one else really is prepared to take on this monumental task.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to GardenArtist
Report

Bnb, your answer is the reason I asked - it's challenging, depressing and frustrating to try to navigate these kinds of situations alone. Actually, it can be overwhelming.

APS is there for a reason, and they can suggestion options. Let them help you through this.

I would have suggested a conference with an elder law attorney, but that would cost you, and APS is free.

Give yourself a break from the stress and anxiety and let an agency supposed to be skilled in intervention provide some assistance for you.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to GardenArtist
Report

Thank you all for helping me today. My brother had reservations about calling but was willing to go forward. I got advice and was about to call when someone he used to work with reported him out of sorts and very confused today. We have made arrangements to take him to the er tonight. This particular hospital has a senior psych department and will be able to do an evaluation tonight. I strongly believe he will be admitted tonight.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Bnb129s
Report

BNB, this may actually be good news in diguise. If dad spends 3 nights ADMITTED ( Not under observation) in the hospital, he'll qualify for Medicare paid rehab. Don't let him sign himself out until you talk to the discharge planning folks.

And DON'T let them tell you that he's YOUR responsibility. Sometimes social workers try to guilt families into taking elders home when it's quite clear that the elder needs a higher level of care.

Don't be intimidated.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report

Bnb, NO,No, No. Do not let anyone take him, no one!

Just leave him there. THAT WILL EXPEDITE MEDICAID. Tell your brother he is wrong. Make sure Mom does NOT offer to take him. That will be a huge problem for everyone.

You yourself call the Social Services Dept of the hospital. Tell them you want his case worker. She will explain what's going on, stop listening to your brother!

You tell her, he has nowhere to live. She will put your mind at rest.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Pepsee
Report

See All Answers
Related
Questions