I've been caring for my dad and step mom for two years. Her son says he'll do the right thing when the time comes. When my dad passes, I'd like to go back to work. What are my options if he doesn't pick up his mom? - AgingCare.com

I've been caring for my dad and step mom for two years. Her son says he'll do the right thing when the time comes. When my dad passes, I'd like to go back to work. What are my options if he doesn't pick up his mom?


I've been taking care of my parents for two years. Mom is my step mom. She has a daughter and son. Daughter has had nothing to do with her mom for 27 years. Her son text me maybe once a week to see how his mom is. He is suppose to come get his mom when my dad passes, which could be in the next week or so. They both are on hospice, mom had a stroke three years ago. He said he would do the right thing when the times comes. Which is very soon. I love my step mom, but when daddy passes. I would like to go back to work or really do what ever I want to do. What would you say my options are if he doesn’t pick up his mom. There is no money to put her in one of those homes, which I wouldn't do anyway, because she was in rehab in one of those homes in Mobile Al. They almost starved her to death. Another long story. Any advice? I think Medicaid is out. Because they sold their house and didn’t get hardly nothing for it, and if you know Medicaid they want everything that’s not nailed down. Any advice? I do get along with her son. Thank for any help.

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You have my deepest sympathy that your father is dying. How far away do your stepmom's children live? Do they live in a state that has parent/elder abandonment laws? Do you have any contact information for her estranged daughter? Her children do not get to dump their mother on you. Notify both of her children by registered and/or certified mail return receipt requested when your father dies. You also may want to hire a process server to hand deliver the notice. I would hope that putting pressure on them will get at least one of them to do the right thing. Please come back and let us know what you're thinking about doing.
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Plan for the worst (your stepbrother doesn't come to get his mother) and hope for the best. So what is your plan going to be if your stepbrother doesn't come get your stepmother?
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Sbatch, if you don't want to be disappointed it might be a good idea to think carefully about what you're hoping/expecting will happen and then to talk through the plans with your stepbro.

The fact that he's seventy isn't promising; but then again it depends on how well set up he is to take care of his mother when the time comes. Has he thought this through? Is there a good facility near him, where his mother might settle? Or is her living with him a realistic prospect? What does he have in the way of resources - money, health and care services, family back-up?

Since he hasn't been involved in her care and probably doesn't have a clue, what isn't realistic is to suppose that he'll just turn up with a removal van and cart your stepmother and all her belongings away. But, again, it's good that you're on good terms with him - you can use your experience and knowledge of her care needs to help him make a practical plan. Think positive! - if he really does intend to do this, he'll benefit from your support.

And if, God forbid, it's just an airy-fairy notion that actually he never imagined would come to pass, then at least you'll know where you stand. And you and he can talk about what is to be done, then, making it clear that he has primary responsibility for *his* mother's welfare and you don't.
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There is nothing you can do to force your stepbrother to come get his mother.

You can refuse to continue to care for her, but you can't require a particular person to do it instead.

What does hospice say about step-mom's prognosis? Is she actively dying? If she is likely to die within a few months, it might just be easier for everyone if you keep her with you while getting some in-home help. If her son does not come get her the process of removing her is going to be stressful for you, especially since you love her.

However, if her condition has improved since she started on hospice care and it no longer looks like she will die soon, or if you really cannot continue even a few months, I'd call your county human services department and explain the situation. Ask for needs assessment and for them to find a suitable placement for her.

I would not hesitate to apply for Medicaid for her. The "pink card" your get every year states the value of your house for taxation purposes. That is seldom (in my experience anyway) a true reflection of what a house would sell for in a particular market. Was the money from the sale of the home all used for your parents' care?
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The pink card you get every year that tells you how much your house is worth, we’ll i found out when you get this card in the mail, you have seven to ten days to call and have someone to come out and evaluate just how much your house is really worth. Of course my parents got their card months before I came into the picture. And then I found out that if that card said your house is worth 85,000 and you ended up selling it for 50,000, then medicaid expects you to pay the 35,000 you didn’t get, because you should have sold it for 85,000. Which the house was not worth 85,000. My dad said heck with medicaid just sell it. So I did. But of course after 11 months away from home, my dad realized he needed to do something, and told him I would take care of everything, so he and mom live with me and my husband. I moved them in with us this January and the both are on hospice, my dad going down fast. Her son lives in NC. So after Dad passes, he is to come move his mom and her stuff to his home. Just like I did moving them from Mobile to Huntsville Al. Her son is is seventy I’m sixty one. I had to quit my job that they held for me for eleven months then my husband told me to quit. I had been with that company 15 years. But everybody I have talked too has told me, he is not going to pick up his mama. I’m going to be very disappointed if he don’t. My husband he better. I have kept him up dated on my dads condition. So he knows what I exspect him to do shortly after my dads funeral.
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Do you think your stepbrother will let you down on this? Or, is it perhaps not going to be possible to move your stepmother, if she's on hospice? It's good that you get along with him, just keep talking and see what you can plan together, maybe.

If you haven't already had a conversation with Medicaid about your parents I would do anyway, even if you don't expect much to come of it. How come they didn't get any money to speak of for their house?
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