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My parents are at the point they can't take care of themselves or to keep house. Their house is falling apart. My mother is in rehab for 2 weeks or more to build her strength in her legs. Dad is in another facility and will be discharged to go home or back to the facility he was transferred from. He has 10 more days that Medicare will cover at 100%. Dad has dementia and can not live alone. We work 40hour week. Instead of me keep juggling job, their house, and seeing mom. I feel it would be easier to have them at my house and have homecare come twice a week. I told my spouse that we could count them as our dependents and they could pay for the utilities and groceries. I helped my husband with his parents and did most of the clean up on their house to sell when they passed away. I feel he has put me in a position to choose him or my parents. But I pay half of the mortgage on our home. If I have to leave in order to take care of my parents I will stop contributing that. My parents can't afford a $5000 a month assisted living and can't qualify for Medicaid because they have more than $2000 saved up. I don't know what to do. I have been dealing with this for 4 months now and about to explode because I can't get anything marked off the list. Their house has to be sold as is. And I waiting on a lawyer to get POA. My parents have done nothing to prepare for this. I tried to get them to move out of that house for years. They just dropped their problems in mine and my younger brother's lap. Sell their house. the car, get rid of their dogs, and do something with all the old crap in their house.

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Victor, something I did the other night was sat down and actually crunched the numbers on how much assisted living would cost for my mother. I was rather surprised that it would actually cost only about $500 more than her SS and pension checks each month. When you think about the high cost, often it is overwhelming. When you actually look at the numbers, you might find that it is doable. Maybe not for long, but for a while. Maybe then they can qualify for Medicaid.

Your parents will most likely not be with you as long as your husband will. I wouldn't chance ruining my marriage when there are other options available. Maybe you and he can sit down and look at the numbers so you'll know what is possible. You might be surprised to find that it is workable.
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My dad had no plans to ever leave his house, so when he no longer could live on his own, it all fell on me and he came to live with us. He stayed for 15 months not contributing financially to our household at all until it became very difficult to cater to his every whim once my husband retired. If a man's home is his castle then I suddenly had 2 kings and I could not serve them both and take care of a son with autism as well. I chose to let my husband enjoy the home and life he worked so long and hard for and found an assisted living place nearby for my dad. We had to sell my dad's house as is because it had been damaged in Hurricane Sandy. My brother took charge of that and I took charge of my dad's care. Somehow even as my dad is needing more and more services at assisted living, we are making the money work. My dad is reasonably happy in AL. No amount of money that my dad could contribute or tax deduction he might provide if he were still living with us is worth coming between me and my wonderful husband. I was able to figure out what to do in my situation by thinking long and hard about what my priorities were and then found a solution everyone could live with. I know it is not easy when everyone in your family is looking for you to have all the answers to satisfy everyone's needs.
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Victor, I agree it doesn't seem fair that you helped take care of your spouse's parents and now he won't allow yours to move in. But circumstances change. You are both older now. Did his parents move in with you or did you care for them in their place? That makes a HUGE difference.

But regardless of your spouse's attitude, I think bringing your parents to live with you would be a mistake. I can't see that it would be best for them or you. Your father has dementia. He should not be left alone while you are at work. Yes, your mother will be there, but who knows how soon and how long she will be strong enough to take care of him?

In-home care twice a week is a good idea, but it may not be enough as the dementia worsens.

The qualifying criteria for Medicaid for a couple is VERY different from that for a single adult. (I went through both -- for my husband and for my widowed mother.) Your parents will NOT be restricted to $2000 in assets. If they are over the limit for a couple they should spend it their needs until they qualify. I think you are basing your conclusion that they can't afford a care center on half-truths you may have heard. If the lawyer you are dealing with for the POA is a specialist in Elder Law and Medicaid, please consult him or her about how your parents can qualify.

You can visit your parents in a care center as often as you want. You can stop and have breakfast with them before work. You can take them on weekend outings. But you will not have total responsibility for their meals, their bathroom accidents or eventual incontinence, their sleepless nights, their falls, or their medications. You won't be losing privacy and you won't have them interfering with your couple time.

You love your parents very much. You are under a great deal of strain right now, and I think this is not the best time for you to be making long-term decisions, especially out of sense of injustice. I hope that you and your spouse can have some calm non-judgmental discussions where both of you can share your feelings and discuss practical ways to resolve the problems.

Seeing to it that your parents needs are met by professionals does NOT reflect any less love than doing the hands-on care yourself reflects.
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Assisted living must be different in your town, than where my MIL lives. She is 92, but everyone there, takes care of themselves. There is a dining room, and a nurse administers pills and baths are given. There are no dementia patients or people that need lifting.

Also, my mother is 96 and in a NH. That is where medicare and medicaid are used and there is more hands on care. There is also a locked unit for dementia patients.

I am sorry that you are in a bad situation. I defiantly see your husband's point of view. What happens when your parents are deceased and you have no one? I wouldn't consider giving up my life, when there are skilled places that are really good at what you need.
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wow, A 10-14 day crunch time! I can read your level of stress over in your writing.

I'm sorry noting has been checked off of your list in the last four months and this is all in your and your younger brother's lap. Are there any other siblings? What is his outlook on things?

How old is your dad and what level is his dementia? Does he have other health problems?

How old is your mother and what if any additional health problems does she have beyond mobility issues?

When you say that you helped with his parents, did that involve bringing them into your home?

Is your home ready for a mobility challenged person to get around in?

Have you read the stories here about the challenges people face when bringing parents home to live with them and in particular bringing a parent home with dementia. At some point your dad's dementia will need 24/7 care.

One option you may want to to the number crunching like JessieBelle mentioned. Compare the cost of having 2 CNA;s a day for 7 days a week at your home to them living in assisted living. Either way, if you and your husband are providing for more than 51% of their support, then they are your dependents and that is a tax deduction.

An additional number crunching that needs to be done is given your monthly operating budget, what sort of spending changes will need to take place if you pay for their care coming to your house or them going to an assisted living? Tax write off not withstanding, the change in spending patterns that you are looking at are substantial.

Also, how much of a potential strain will paying for all of this out of your joint income will this put on your own retirement preparation?

Do your parents have enough assets to pay for several months in an assisted living that would spend them down to then qualify for medicaid that the assisted living place would take?

Somewhere between "I told my spouse. . ." and "I feel he has put me in a position" there must have been a discussion. How did that go? What were his feelings and ideas about this whole situation? Maybe you need to do some additional number crunching and have another discussion?

There is a high probability that you and your husband will outlive your parents just as ya'll have outlived his parents. Please don't put your marriage at risk for that is you and your husband's primary commitment. Somehow, ya'll need to talk this out and come together as a team to figure this out.

10-14 days to get this solved is not much time at all. I really wish you two had more time to bring in a third party to help resolve this impasse.


I pray and hope the best for you, your husband and your parents in working all of this out in a way that does not trow anyone under the buss.

Keep in touch and let us know how things work out.
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Chicago1954, just as a point of information, I think ALFs differ greatly even within the same area! My daughter works at an ALF and my aunt was in one until she needed a lot more care. These two facilities were very different from each other in how the "apartments" looked and what kinds of services were available.

The center where my daughter works has a secure unit for dementia patients who wander or who have disruptive behavioral issues. But approximately 60% of the residents in the "regular" unit have dementia.

Some states have a waiver program through which Medicaid pays. Some will not accept Medicaid at all; some take it after a certain length of time at self-pay, and some accept it from the beginning.

It is really best to look into what is available in a given area and if/how they accept Medicaid, before deciding on how to do a spend-down.
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Victor685, one thing that caught my eye is when you said "Dad has dementia and can not live alone." And in your profile you mentioned your Mom has mobility issues. As you already probably know, dementia doesn't get better, it only gets worse. If your Mom has mobility issues, how will she stop your Dad from doing something he shouldn't [and he will]?

Today I was talking to a gentleman who is my age [68] and we were talking about our elderly parents. His mother has dementia and she is living with his sister.... their Mom would take a blanket and sneak out of the house quietly in the middle of the night and go sleep in the flower garden. They had to install locks near the top of the door so Mom couldn't reach them. In the middle of the night the family can hear her rattling the door big time trying to get out. And that is just one of 100's of things that are happening.

If you find you have to quit work, please read this first: Here are some things to think about if one is trying to decide whether to quit work to care for an aging parent.... on average if a working person quits work he/she will lose, over the years, between $285,000 and $325,000 which includes not only loss of salary, it also includes the net worth loss of the health insurance; loss of money being put into social security/ Medicare; loss of other benefits such as matching 401(k); profit sharing; etc. [source: in part Reuters 5/30/12]
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Ginach, you are a person who has your priorities straight!
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I agree, Babalou. I wish we had a place where best answers could be saved. Ginach, what you wrote is so true. I admire the way that you and your brother worked together to make things happen. Your husband (and you) indeed has the right to enjoy being home.
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Thank you Babalou and JesseBelle, I hope my answer was of some help to Victor685.
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