I've been the primary caregiver for my terminally ill Father for 3 years now. I need help and have nowhere to turn. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

I've been the primary caregiver for my terminally ill Father for 3 years now. I need help and have nowhere to turn. Any advice?

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I am 23 years old now. My father has Stage IV Lung Cancer inoperable, severe rheumatoid & osteoarthritis, which leads to severe mobility problems, severe sleep apnea, major depression, severe generalized anxiety, panic disorder, OCD, atrial difibrillabriation, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, glaucoma, macular degeneration, hearing loss, and more. I am the only Caregiver, with no family willing to help. My mother died from breast cancer when I was one. I have been Caregiving for my father since I was 17 years old. As I approach 24 years old, & my father continues to beat the odds, I am both happy and sad about this. I want to know if there are any options out there for me, that would allow me peace of mind and my father to receive appropriate care. We have limited funds, however, we are not completely without means. Any advice or support would be greatly appreciated. I am in this alone, most days. Thank you.

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Yes, unfortunately he has to stop pursuing aggressive treatment in order to bring in Hospice. I have had Hospice come to the house and two different nurses have said the same thing. I have even had my father's oncologist at Roswell Park Cancer Institute say that she would write a doctors note allowing him to receive Hospice's services while undergoing aggressive chemotherapy, only to have the Head Nurse at Hospice say that she there is nothing she can do for us.
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Have you talked to his doctor about bringing in hospice? The staff are very helpful and supportive of the caregiver as well. Possibly you would get the help and support you need to see this through.
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Thank you for the reply. Yes, my father gave me Power of Attorney, as well as being his health care proxy, right when he was admitted into the hospital. We also have a Last Will and Testament drawn up, he has signed the house over to myself and my older sister, and I know what his final wishes are, for example receiving the Holy Eucharist, receiving his final Confession, etc. Is he competent? Sometimes...that is most of my struggle with all of this. I do not feel like he is truthfully, but I feel like he could convince any doctor or healthcare professional that he is...regardless of how he behaves at home towards me.
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Genna, It is very hard to read about young people having to care for ill relatives. There are options. You need to live your life, isn't that what your Dad would want? Call your Area Agency on Aging usually within the Council of Governments to help you find the way through the maze. Do you have Dad's power of attorney? Is he competent? You should also see an attorney to prepare any necessary documents to protect yourself and your father.
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